A Reader Writes… In Defense of Coaches

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In response to the 8/14/18 post, “A Little Real Talk,” a reader writes:

 

SC,

 

You want real talk?  Well, settle in…

Your over simplification, and blanket classification, shed a luminous ray of misinformed rhetoric on the topic.  I would urge you to examine, and for that matter go experience what the daily grind and dedication looks like from the 30,000-foot vantage point of the “coach.”

  

As a former teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent with almost 30-years’ experience, I can assure you that I would love to have teachers show up to their classes as prepared as most coaches are on an ongoing basis.  

 

Coaches are masters of using formative assessments, and can use the information gleaned immediately as well as anyone in the education profession.  Coaches get evaluated on a weekly basis in PUBLIC, and I have never heard one say, “Well, you know how this class of kids perform. They have been this way forever.”  

 

Rather, they shoulder the responsibility and say they did not do a good enough job having the athletes prepared. I would urge you to find a group of core teachers willing to bare that responsibility on an ongoing daily basis in PUBLIC. Furthermore, coaches are a large portion of the backbone that holds the educational organization together.  The moniker “coach” comes with a special “playbook” that those who have never SERVED students in this manner do not comprehend.  Finally, in my experience, many of the most dedicated and professional individuals in education have been called “coach.”

 

If this castigation offends you in any manner, that does not concern me.  Remove the log in your own eye before you concern yourself with the speck in the eye of the “coach.”

SC Response

I did not simplify. I begin the post in question by stating it is for the oblivious and unaware.

 

I spend a lot of my professional time explaining (and modeling) that the coaching skills displayed on the field and in the gym translate directly in the classroom.  I spend a lot of time pointing out that some of the best teachers in our schools are coaches.  And I spend almost every day working on campuses with teachers and coaches, at schools all across the country. I am a product, participant and advocate for athletics.

 

Which is why I wrote the post.  I see at many campuses, not all campuses and not the majority of campuses, where the coaching staff is disengaged from the academic program of the campus. By the way, this is a direct reflection of the head coach, athletic director and principal.

 

It is because I hold coaches in such high regard that I will not ignore unprofessional behavior and practices by those who want to be called “coach” but pick and choose when to act like one. Those who don’t meet the standard of our best coaches (either through ignorance or apathy) need to be made aware of that fact, reminded of what is expected and given the chance to improve. In other words, they need to be coached.

 

If you want to blindly jump to their defense when you think that coaches are being maligned, that is your prerogative. But as an educator who owes his entire career to the instructional vision and focus of his high school football and baseball coaches, I will defend those who need defending and demand more of those who are falling short.

 

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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