My team isn’t in the Super Bowl this year, but I will watch because I am a football fan. During my years as a classroom teacher, I had ample opportunity to share my love of football with many students. They know my home team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and even alumni will still talk to me about football (mostly teasing me when things aren’t going well for my team or letting me know when their team is successful). None of my training to be a teacher or school leader has ever focused on football. Yet, this is a way I have built connections with students, families and staff.

This week, the Philadelphia Eagles are playing in Super Bowl LII. Everyone is beyond excited. One of our WMS dads was so enthusiastic he had a giant Eagles cake made for our entire school. Our facilities manager is also determined to share his love of the Eagles with all of Wilmington Montessori School. This morning, he set up an Eagles display in the lobby, including a lucky football helmet from the movie “Invincible.” He even cut out hundreds of Eagles ribbons for all of us to wear to show our support for the team.

Though most of us are not as enthusiastic about the team as he is, he is building connections that allow the entire community to see him in a different light and invite us all to share in his love of the game, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

Taking the time to learn about what is important to others is a way to build community. It is the way that we learn about each other, create shared moments and have a little fun. This week as we chant, “Fly, Eagles Fly,” we will experience the game through the eyes of someone whose enthusiasm brought us together to create a moment that we’ll remember and talk about for a long time to come. Good luck, Philadelphia!