Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to the Extra Yard for Teachers events. All opinions are my own.
It’s kind of hard to write about this, y’all. I’ve been a Georgia Bulldogs fan since I was a little girl and I was over the moon about them being in the National Championship game. If you’ve been under a rock, or if you don’t really follow college ball, then it’s with a heavy heart that I tell you my Dawgs were defeated by the Alabama Crimson Tide in overtime.
Moment of silence.
Before the Recent Unpleasantness, though, was the Extra Yard for Teachers Lounge & Summit as well as the Playoff Fan Central all here in Atlanta for the College Football Championship Game.
College Football Playoff Foundation – Extra Yard for Teachers
The College Football Playoff Foundation was formed in 2013 as the charitable arm of the College Football Playoff. The CFP Foundation seeks to support learning from early childhood through secondary school by supporting the teachers who make that learning happen. To that end, the Extra Yard for Teachers program aims to elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers. They do this through programs and initiatives that encourage teachers and support them with monetary donations as well as gifts in kind to further their teaching efforts. So far, they have supported 135,000 educators and benefited 18,500 schools.
I was given the opportunity to invite two teachers to the Extra Yard for Teachers events. Both the teachers that accompanied me are from my youngest son’s elementary school. Ms. Einertson has never had any of my children. Yet she was the first teacher that popped into my head. I spend a lot of time at the school volunteering and have seen firsthand the enthusiasm and sincere concern she offers her students and fellow staff members.
Ms. White is my youngest son’s math teacher. Besides being sweet and fun, she’s an incredibly good influence. I have a feeling she was behind the fourth grade project of using NFL games to teach geography. My son also came home with a math lesson on probability and chance that incorporated picking squares for the Championship game. After the Falcons entered the playoffs, I found him taping a print out of the playoff brackets to his headboard. I love the ways she uses current events and sports to make the lessons more fun and relevant to her students.
Extra Yard for Teachers Lounge
The Extra Yard for Teachers Lounge is a place of resources for educators. Vendors are set up around the rooms offering information and services perfect for helping our teachers in their classroom efforts. We had fun walking around and looking at cool innovations for the classroom and beyond! There were free samples of things for the teachers as well as educational sessions and drawings for awesome giveaways! We were treated to lunch from Chick-fil-a and drinks from Dr Pepper.
My personal highlight – being able to be this close to the National Championship Trophy!
Extra Yard for Teachers Summit
The Extra Yard for Teachers Summit was a two hour program meant to encourage and celebrate our teacher heroes! On the program were speakers as varied as Zackory Kirk who is Literacy Coordinator for the Atlanta Public School District, Ronnie Thomas who is the Primary School STEAM Coach at Atlanta International School, and Sydney Chaffee who is the National Teacher of the Year.
Even American Idol winner Phillip Phillips made an appearance to speak and share a song. I kind of love him. My teacher friends were laughing at my FanGirl side.
Listening to those speakers, I felt even more privileged to know so many fantastic teachers; grateful that my children have had the benefit of being in their classrooms. So many things are conspiring against our teachers – lack of respect, lack of funding, lack of flexibility and lack of time. We are losing scores of teachers to other professions every year. The College Football Playoff Foundation seeks to help good teachers become even better and to encourage them to keep up the good work.
Playoff Fan Central
A great perk for anyone attending the Extra Yard for Teachers Lounge and Summit was admission to Playoff Fan Central! Inside were all kinds of interactive experiences for families, from youth football clinics to getting your own personalized Chick-fil-a cow! All the trophies from the playoff bowl games were on display as well and you could get your picture made with any of them. Throughout the weekend there were visits from marching bands as well as football players. Truly an event tailor made for the college football fan!
I love the natural pairing of the College Football Playoff Foundation and educators. Those college football players got to where they are today through the efforts of inspiring and caring primary & secondary teachers! Next year’s National Championship game will be held in Santa Clara, CA and the 2020 game will be in New Orleans, LA. If you live in those areas or will be traveling there, be sure to check out these fun events! Make sure your teacher friends are aware of these great opportunities.