Why Can’t Teaching Be Like Coaching?

I saw a great movie on the weekend called We Are Marshall. I was really impressed with the coach in this true-life story. He was an amazing character that brought out the best in his staff and players.

As I was watching the movie, I started to draw comparisons between being a coach and being a teacher. I would like to think that both jobs are about bringing out the best in the team or the class. In both positions, the authority figure needs to inspire confidence, to work with individual players, and to get results.

I know that these two jobs are not interchangeable. There are coaches who could never teach in a classroom and teachers who just aren’t cut out to be coaches. That being said, I think the classroom could run quite effectively if a teacher were to take on some characteristics of great coaching. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t work for a variety of reasons.

Teachers are held to a higher standard than coaches. Proven coaching methods would be deemed inappropriate for the classroom. I have seen great coaches lose their temper from time to time. I have seen great coaches yell and swear at their players. I have seen coaches push their players to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion. Teachers could never get away with any of this behaviour.

I think we need to remember that teachers are real people. Some days are hard. Sometimes things pile up and there is so much pressure that it is hard to cope. I admit to losing my temper a few times in class. Every time it has happened, I have feared for my career. People can be so unforgiving of teachers.

I wish as a teacher that I had more power. I wish I could push my students hard and let them feel the consequences of their actions. I wish I could try some unconventional plays in order to reach all the students. I wish I could draw from old playbooks and use some proven methods.

All I want to be is a great teacher. I want to reach my students. I want every student in my class to reach his or her true potential. I want them all to develop academically and aesthetically. As a teacher, I always have to worry about how my actions and methods are perceived. It’s a standard that I have to live up to. The only thing is that it is limiting.

I know the rules of the game. I know how the education system works. I just think that there needs to be a little leeway. My methods don’t always work but my heart is always in the game. If I have a bad day, I always work hard to overcome it, and to improve. That’s what life is all about.