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How Teaching is Comparable to the Game of Football

How Teaching is Comparable to the Game of Football

What could football and teaching possibly have in common? You’d be surprised.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl this upcoming Sunday, teacher Mary Tarashuk talks about how the profession of teaching is comparable to the sport of football, with teachers holding the incredibly important position of quarterback.

"Like quarterbacks, teachers benefit if they have a running as well as a passing game. There may be an amazing downfield pass made from time to time (I have certainly thrown a Hail Mary or two in the course of each season!), but mostly, we try to move the ball down the field slowly, making steady progress and trying to use the clock to our advantage,” Tarashuck says in a post on

Tarashuck even compares disagreements with officials during the game with disagreements with administration. 

"There sure are a lot of red flags being thrown onto the field, as the coaches and players challenge the calls being made by the officials. The standardized test scores, which have so much to do with how the game is played, don’t tell us which officials have experience actually playing in the game,” she says.

And just like performance portfolios help provide information on any given football player, so do report cords and assessments for students.

Tarashuk uses a "a simple, developmentally appropriate rubric that helps guide my analysis and reporting of what is an incredibly subjective topic.”

"There are scribbled notes jotted in the margins, to highlight various aspects of each player’s speech patterns, phrasing, use of voice inflection, and use of punctuation. This data is priceless in giving feedback to parents, offering support on the sidelines, and keeping us all in the game.”

Tarashuck acknowledges that, like football, is far more than a game and sometimes it isn’t even fun.

"In our classroom, I’m the quarterback. It’s my job to call the plays…and right now, we’ve still got an entire second half to go. It’s time to get back into the game."

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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