Teaching Antics: Michael Jordan

After playing basketball for 25 years this sport is like second nature to me, most of the time or so I would like to think!! Ha ha. 

This story could sum up the workings of students minds or maybe not!

I would like to set the scene by asking you to imagine a group of 20 plus girls, some who have never even picked up a Basketball let alone played it before. As well as the getting people mixed up. Being called mum instead of Miss has to be a good one. One of the best, I think is in this story. This will become more apparent as it develops.

All I can say is they are soooooo used to netball from their previous teacher. The art of leaping like stag to get the ball and showing the correct footwork was done with artistic flair. They had played so much netball!  A term used by some to describe said sport was”I hate f:#@ing netball”. It was time to try a different sport to engage them. 

Skills and drills were done through out the lesson to help develop their dribbling or bouncing of the ball as well as their shooting. “Miss how useful is that backboard?” “I know it’s great isn’t it!” “Why don’t they use one in netball?” my answer to that question would be answered with profanities that would cost me a lot of money in a swear jar!!! I like to play many sports and like playing netball a bit. I think its too rigid. You can’t go here or there if you play this position. The defending. Don’t get me started on that. You should be able to guard a player. I am sorry but in many sports contact is always going to happen! If the ball is shown to you take it off them! No not in netball. 

Towards the end of the lesson  I put the girls into a game. The netballness (if this is even a word) was very evident along with the lack of coordination to dribble the ball and move at the same time for some. The other area of the game they struggled with was the fact any player was allowed to shoot and go anywhere on the court.  This was one thing the students loved about the game. 

This comical moment has to be one of  my favourites in my 12 years of teaching. The confusion students can have astound me sometimes. 

The lesson ends and the girls were asked to put the basketballs away. 

One student decides to show off her dribbling skills with expertise comical timing. 

She was running around dribbling the ball and then decides to get my attention! How? I hear you ask. Does she fall over? Does she bounce the ball into her face? 

Well the answer- no. You could say she goes one better! 

As I watched her show off, dribbling the ball around she decides to shout ” Miss, Miss look at me I’m Michael Jackson” it confused me slightly for a few seconds. I was expecting her to stop dribbling the ball and break into the moonwalk or thriller dance! 

When this didn’t happen and she ran around, still dribbling the ball and kept shouting it. It was evident who she meant!

Michael Jackson for those who are unsure.

My one and only reponse was “don’t you mean Michael Jordan???” with a smile on my face.

Michael Jordan for those who are unsure. 

The biggest difference is one has had the number one selling album of all time to date and is known as the King of Pop. He is surely recognised by a few more people who may not be into their sport! The other is said to be one of the greatest basketball players in history!

Oh, the look of how embrassing and the laughter from herself and the group said it all. As for me, this made me smile, giggle and laugh for the whole day and most probably, even longer than that. I still recall this story with a smile and giggle. 

Could you imagine if I had also got who she meant wrong too! 

I mean really, how could anyone get these two famous celebrities mixed up? Honestly! Apparently it is quite easy!!!

In another lesson of basketball, years later, Michael Jordan also apparently resembled Dwanye ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Yeah, that famous wrestler with the tag line “smell what the rock is cooking” He is quite a famous wrestler apparently!!! Or maybe not. Face to palm moment. 

They don’t look anything alike! All three of them. I hear you saying how is that possible? Well in the inner workings of young people’s minds catches me out, still! 

This is why many teachers love our job. To see the look on students faces when they finally get what they have been taught. The look of achievement, confidence and feeling proud. Or the moment they think oh why did I do that??? 

After all it’s about making memories and cherishing the moments that make you smile, laugh, cry and feel human. 


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