Bishop cheers in class, sidelines

As the badminton players ducked and weaved around each other, English teacher Melissa Bishop-Magallanes found herself cheering and gasping alongside the audience with each point scored.

Although Bishop had previously attended mostly football games, it became apparent to her that many of her students were a part of the various sports teams. After going to a couple of basketball games, she found herself inspired and wanting to attend more games.

“That was just incredibly fun and my son went with me and I’ve never seen him so excited,” Bishop said. “He was cheering and he said ‘Show them no mercy SGHS.’”

Aside from being able to support and cheer on her students, Bishop learned more about previously unfamiliar sports, such as badminton.

“I didn’t realize how ignorant I really was and it was just fascinating to experience a whole new type of play with all of its different rules,” Bishop said. “Badminton is one of few sports that clearly are played co-ed, and I thought that was super fun to watch because that’s a very different dynamic than a lot of sports that are not [co-ed].”

Seeing how students support each other and do their best is an aspect of the San Gabriel community that Bishop finds inspiring.

“I know how pounded our kids get with work and [how they] are diligent and hardworking in the academic arena,” Bishop said, “and so when there’s also that sport element that’s attached to their life that they do and aspire to so well, it’s invigorating to watch that kind of youthfulness and enthusiasm.”

The chance to watch students play in an unfamiliar sport showed Bishop a different side of them.

“Sometimes classrooms can be a little more cutthroat, although I’m blessed this year,” Bishop said. “I don’t feel like students are too competitive with each other in my classroom and so it’s nice to see that side where kids are supporting each other.”

She also noted that going to different sports games with her family helped expose her children to the different communities and activities of the school as well as validate her work as a teacher.

“It’s about being part of the community and so the idea of [the students] helping support my community is very powerful,” Bishop said. “ I also hope [my kids will] understand that kind of community when they’re in high school and they’ll want to be a part of it.”

Bishop said that students knowing that teachers care for them makes them feel important.

“It’s a very concrete statement of their importance that we would give our time after school to go cheer them on,” Bishop said.

Although dance competitions are farther and not as local, Bishop has future plans to include those to her schedule.

“I’m gonna make a purposeful attempt next year to kind of calendar out when [Choreo is] dancing and see if I can get to more of those next year, so every year a little bit more,” Bishop said.

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