Teachers and students love it when coaches make classroom visits. Making a difference to a class of students is easier than you may think. You don’t need to be a credentialed teacher, just be your fly-fishing-loving self, spin some yarns, and answer some simple questions. Oh, and there’s the issue of being able to tolerate a lot of adulation, admiration, and enthusiasm from the students. Here is what three teachers have shared about the value of active sponsors:
“The coaches can really make a difference in the program, so anything we can do as teachers to improve or inspire coach involvement is a good thing! I hadn’t really thought about how diverse and widespread the support groups are – even if they all have fly fishing in common. Very cool!” — Kate
“I think the best thing for sponsors to know is that they are the connection between what the kids should know and what the teacher delivers – meaning that if a teacher has a question about ANYTHING trout – it was my impression the first ‘go to’ person was our sponsor. If that is the case, the more sponsors make us teachers feel more welcomed and invited to ask these questions, the more interaction there will be between teachers and sponsors. Although they may not feel like experts – sponsors are a link to information that teachers may have no experience with – like why cold water is so important to trout and how a fisherman can feel the temperature difference in the sun vs. the shade and that’s why they sometimes move along a river to get to a better “sweet spot.”
I know sponsors can be intimidated by this, but I think if they knew how valuable their experience and intelligence was, they would be more open to discussing these things with the teachers. I think if we engage the sponsors more at the training with the teachers, that will also help to bridge the gap – is it at all possible we could do some simple team building exercises at the next training? I have some simple ones that can also be used in the classroom … and I could find a way to make them more trout friendly – I already have an idea to build a “trust bridge” that we could call a “trout fish ladder” – – hmmm
Let me know if you want more feedback – I could talk for an hour on the subject of how valuable the sponsors really are/can be :-)” — Amy
“We love when Larry comes in to the classroom to share his enthusiasm for aquatic insects and for fly-fishing.” — Ruth
Thank you coaches…for all the great work you do.