I almost forgot about these sweet letters. I was rummaging through one of my drawers at home and stumbled upon a pile of notes from some of my former AcroSports students. I reread them. And then, I smiled.
I REALLY miss being around all of my students.
I miss their hugs, smiles, laughs, and creativity. I miss finding creative ways to get kids to like conditioning. I miss coaching kids with challenging behaviors and seeing their breakthroughs. I miss turning on music and dancing with my students, even just hanging out during free play.
I started teaching preschool gymnastics at AcroSports about 10 years ago. I was teaching approximately 25 classes, working with well over a hundred different students per week. Admittedly, it was not always easy to roll out of bed in the early mornings and wake up wide eyed and bushy tailed, but as soon as I stood in the presence of my students they gave me the energy I needed. I was the cup and they filled me.
Children are magic. It’s true as coaches we are there to teach them how to tumble well and safely, but it’s so much more than teaching cartwheels and forward rolls. My goal as a coach is to help my students understand and move comfortably in their bodies, to encourage them to create from within, and chart their own path. I want to be their champion, mentor, and one of their greatest allies. I want to watch them grow and progress. The pure essence of getting to know our students on an individual level transforms us as coaches.
I am a competent, strong teacher and coach today because of the AcroSports community. And even though we all walk our own journeys, I am so grateful to know these young people. They are going to change our world and create it anew. When nothing is certain, it means everything is possible.
If you’re reading this and your child has ever written a note to an AcroSports coach, made a craft at school, baked something, please know, we really do appreciate it. Your child has been our teacher as much as we’ve been theirs. Building long lasting connections and friendships with our students and families has been EVERYTHING, especially during these pandemic times. We are appreciative for the many families that have come through in support of AcroSports, our teaching artists, and local organizations they love. We thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, to all our AcroSports students and families, younger and older, we thank you for trusting us. It is our hope that once we are able to safely open doors that we can continue to connect in person.
I encourage you to take the time to send a message of thoughtfulness to an important person in your life via handwritten letter or message. You never know who is tucking away those messages of kindness to accidentally discover later. Like me, it may be the sentiment they need to hear in just the right moment.
Contributor: Christine Joy Ferrer (AKA Coach Tine)