Coaches as teachers

Over the years that I’ve attended school, I’ve been in classes that have coaches as teachers. Some have been amazing teachers and have put loads of effort to make sure their students succeed. Others, not so much. Some of these teachers have seemed to focus primarily on their sport and push their teaching to the back. For both types of coaches/teachers, it has been a problem for them to be in class most days because of their sporting events.

Living in a small community in which sports are very important adds to the sense that education isn’t a first priority.

Although some of these teachers do tend to push aside their teacher duties, one teacher that has achieved in both parts of his career is math teacher Robert Cowan. Last year, I had Cowan for Pre-AP geometry, and that was the most successful math class I’ve ever had.

Even though he was a great teacher, unfortunately he was gone a lot for softball and golfing events. Cowan agrees that it is very difficult to focus on both tasks, he tries his best to make sure both are equally successful.

Another coach that faces both sides of her career is english resource teacher Amanda Lard. Lard says that she tries her best to focus on the classroom during school hours and focus on volleyball when the nets go up. This strategy doesn’t always work in her favor though. Sometimes she ends up working on classroom things far after school, especially during this time of the year when volleyball season is in full swing.

Most can agree that these two teachers try their best in both departments, but the reason for this could be that both started out primarily in teaching.

Cowan started out teaching in Velma. Then began his career coaching golf by catching the superintendent’s eye when he played with a high school student of his. Coaching softball started out similarly when he noticed that Velma’s team was struggling defensively, and he had former experience coaching his daughter’s team. He talked to the superintendent about it and thus began his successful coaching career.

For Lard, things were a little bit different. When her plans to study to become a veterinarian didn’t work out, she decided to study to become a teacher instead. When she applied for a job, the position was for teaching and coaching.

To solve the issue of teachers being gone to coach sporting events, maybe it would help if more teachers with an athletic background were hired. Sometimes, there are teaching positions that need to be filled and a coach that has some knowledge in that subject will be immediately hired. Unfortunately, this is a difficult situation to solve and perhaps coaches, teachers and students will have to learn to adapt.