The Importance of Extra-Curriculars in School

Sitting out on my condo’s balcony, I look down upon the roof of a major pharmaceutical company here in Canada. The company is attached to the condo that lies directly to the east of my condo and the roof is space for the condo’s inhabitants to barbecue, have parties, and so on.

Right now, on this very hot evening, I see two teenage boys kicking around a soccer ball. Meanwhile, a father is throwing a football to his young son.

This is the scene I see on many a night as I eat outside in the temperate weather: people engaged in socializing and, in many ways, participating in some active game.

Today at my school, our last week, the teachers were involved in a baseball game with grade 6-8 students. There was a lot of camaraderie: people high-fiving and encouraging their teammates; everyone making harmless jabs in good fun.

And sports are only one extra-curricular activity that brings students and teachers together. There are other categories, not necessarily extra-curricular, that make students excited about their talents: music programmes, reading programmes, and so on.

Studies have shown that students do better at academics when they are involved in these activities. As a teacher, I do not even need a study or statistics to tell me that this correlation is true.

And yet, here in Toronto, there is the strong possibility that music programmes will be cut. And some people in the twitterverse have informed me that librarians’ jobs are threatened in northern Ontario and Alberta.

In fact, here is an interesting link to the subject:

There are those who might tell you that money must be saved in order to resolve certain deficits.

If this is the case for extra-curriculars, I fear for the students who lose such beneficial activities.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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