Academics vs. Activities

This time of year is extremely busy.  Students who participate in spring activities
often seem to be gone from school more than one day a week (sometimes three and four times a week).  Because of this, the question arises every year (mostly during this time of year)…What are the kids learning?

Many people like to compare academics and activities – and obviously one probably out-weighs the other.  However, a closer look might surprise you.  The truth is that both of these work hand-in-hand to provide our students with the best education possible.

I was blessed to be a basketball coach for 11 years of my life.  I’ve also been blessed to be an educator for about 10 years.  I’ve seen the best of both worlds, and I’ve seen some troubling times as well.  Through it all I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the importance of both the academic curriculum and the social curriculum.

The academic side of school offers our students a curriculum that is not only challenging and worthwhile, but it also gives them a recipe for the future.  It gives our students a solid knowledge base so that they can begin to tackle the world after they graduate.  Mastery of the academic side of school is measured by a grade-point system (look for major changes to this in the future).

The activity side of school offers a social curriculum that teaches students some very valuable life lessons.  It teaches our students the importance of hard work and dedication.  It teaches students the values of team work and perseverance.  It provides students with a social dimension, which requires interaction and dependability.

Both of these educational entities allow for success and failure, and in most circumstances, you cannot have one without the other.  Most successes come directly from failure.  So whether a student fails a test or misses the game winning shot – the values learned in both circumstances help determine who our students become.

So yes, this is a very busy time of the year but it is also very important.  Students who are currently juggling academics and activities are just getting a taste of what life is like when they enter the real world, when all of the sudden they are juggling family, job, finances, and possibly, school and more.  The next time you hear somebody say, “What are our kids learning,” you can tell them that GCC Students are learning life.