I have been reminded over the past few days of the importance and value of role models. My wife and I have been bugging our 7 year old daughter to attend a “Just for Girls” summer hockey camp in Canmore for the past few weeks with no success. She has used various creative explanations to avoid this opportunity, but none more humorous than her recent statement:
“I don’t like to go and make friends if I am only going to get to see them for one week then not again for a long time!”
Mikyla is the only girl on her Tier 3 hockey team (and has been for the past 3 years). She enjoys hockey but it is not yet (and may never be) one of her passions. She typically attends one hockey camp each summer but spends the majority of her free time playing with friends and enjoying Soccer or swimming lessons, like a 7 year old kid should.
Just the other day while watching the a hockey game, I called her up to the T.V. room and got the usual sarcastic response “Oh yah hockey again”… followed by “Wait a minute… Dad, those are girls! (as if I hadn’t realized this detail”. She wasn’t aware that I was watching the Canadian Women’s National team play against the USA.
Mikyla saw the long hair protruding from one of the player’s helmets and was instantly engaged. She came up the last few stairs and sat completely connected to the hockey game for the next 2 hours. She cheered each save, groaned when Team Canada was scored on, and celebrated the eventual shoot out win like it was her own team! Throughout the game she continually asked “Is that girl going to be my coach? What about that girl? Her?”…
We had tried to sell her on the girls only hockey camp months ago but this realization that girls actually play hockey (that there are actually girls teams and they have a place to “fit in”) and that 6 of the Canadian players will be her “coaches” at this camp immediately sold her on this great summer experience.
She made sure we taped the next game against Switzerland and when we couldn’t finish it the next night due to bedtime, she decided she better finish it during breakfast the next morning!
While those Canadian team members will never know the impact that they have had on Mikyla and so many other young girls, this experience served as a good reminder for me. Who looks to us as educators as role models? Do we even know when we are being watched by an impressionable student?
I leave you with a final thought. As educators, we are role models at all times even though we may never know the impact that we have.
Oh yeah.. one more problem… my 2 year old daughter has been bugging me to take her skating like her big sister!