Saturday, December 05, 2009

Shocking, Perhaps?

Dear Football Coach,

I have four members of your football team in my first year writing class. If I recall correctly, they've missed a total of four classes. That's pretty darned good.

In addition to being in class every day, each of them has done all the assignments in a timely manner. It would be nice if they didn't sit together at the back of the room, but they willingly move around for group work.

None of the four is exactly a shining example of active class participation, but each will respond when called on. And often enough, they have something smart and interesting to say when they respond; at the least, their responses indicate they've been following the discussion.

Two of the four have worked really hard on their writing and peer editing; the peer editing is especially impressive. They've really improved their writing, and their research papers are quite good.

In conclusion, you're doing something right. I hear about study sessions and fill in the progress reports, and I gather you're encouraging your team members to take their classes seriously and work hard. Each of these men in my class seems to have learned something about mutual respect, teamwork, and effort through their football experiences. So even though I gather the team has a losing record, I want to encourage you to keep up your good work.

Sincerely, Bardiac

ps. I'd be happy to have more of your football players in my classes.


  1. How nice!!

    I've had football players in my courses at a couple of schools -- and only the ones at my Big Red grad school were a problem.

    I've often enjoyed having athletes, as long as the sport isn't a big deal on campus, the students tend to be more organized than an average student.

  2. It's good to know that the negative stereotypes aren't always true.

  3. What a great letter.

    I've had some good ones, too. While I also wish they wouldn't sit in the back (what IS it with football players and the back of the room?), they contribute a lot of energy to class discussions. I make sure to let the coaches know. That way if there ever is a problem, the coaches are usually faster to help me out!

  4. Anonymous5:06 PM

    I hate those stupid progress reports. I'm surprised the athletic director didn't jump out of the bushes at me with those those forms. I was waiting to fill them out until there was a first test but he sent the damn report brigade after me. I felt like I'd have to drop and give someone ten pushups for slacking.

  5. That's nice to hear!

    I haven't had tons of athletes in my classes, but the few I've encountered have been female. They were always on top of their work, and I enjoyed having them. I think I had one male basketball player when I was in the midwest -- he was great, too.

    It's so nice when the stereotypes are undermined.

  6. You should totally send that -- did you?

  7. How refreshing! I hope you sent that!