Cricket gets in the way of work – not for players but definitely for coaches

In spite of the best intentions, I have found it hard to keep posting material on my blog during term time.  In the holidays I have found it a really useful way of keeping in touch with students, particularly those doing public exams but obviously during term time, this is not quite so relevant.  But now the period of exam leave for Year 11 is approaching, I will try to put a few more posts up relating specifically to those topics likely to be tested in IGCSE Biology paper 2.  Students who want to revise using Zondle challenges should also keep an eye out for new revision resources.

The reason for the inactivity on the blog is mostly due to one of my passions – cricket.  I coach my school’s U14A team, a role in the school that is immensely rewarding both in a sporting and more importantly in a pastoral context.  Cricket is a sport that can be damaging to fragile adolescent egos (as well as fragile middle-aged ones) and time spent helping young people cope with adversity and disappointment is sometimes the most valuable work of all.

I have worked out that in a typical summer term week I spend 20 hours on cricket.  I work this out as 18 hours of coaching and umpiring, and 2 hours of emails, team planning and communicating with other coaches in my age group.  90% of this time is contact time with the players and this can be tiring as well as exciting and challenging.  Of course sometimes the weather means that time is freed up for marking, planning and even perhaps blogging but luckily the sun shines more than one might imagine.

The match we had today featured a remarkable spell of bowling from the young off spinner in the team.  We played a 20-20 match against one of the local grammar schools in Slough and one of my boys returned the remarkable figures of 3.5 overs, 1 maiden, 7 runs conceded for 9 wickets. These 9 wickets included two separate hat-tricks.  I hope the memories he has made today will last long into his adulthood:  it was a remarkable achievement.

The evening was spent taking my Year 10 tutor group out for dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in Windsor as a treat for their hard work so far this term.  The boys had been promised belly dancing by one of their housemasters but sadly the restaurant was quiet (although the food was great) and so they might have returned a little disappointed.   One of the great parts of my job is the ability to talk frequently to young people out of the classroom and tonight we had a good discussion about UKIP, the European elections, the valuation of Snapchat, Bitcoins and the viability of Chemistry teachers following the change of career shown in Breaking Bad.

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