If I had only known. If I had only known that on Friday the 13th of March 2020 would have been the last time I would see my 161 eighth-graders all together at school. I would have had different conversations and expressed many things I typically do to end each year. I miss the kids terribly, but will do my best to make eLearning beneficial for them. I DO know this- I will be a better teacher and coach because of this experience.
I received advice many years ago not to spend so much time on my “side job” of coaching that I neglect my most important job, which is teaching. It is imperative as coaches that we are one of the best teachers in our building. As a basketball coach in Indiana, we are quite possibly the most recognized individual from our school corporation out in the community. Think about that humbling thought for a minute. I take that responsibility very seriously. What shadow am I casting to others and am I being a great representative to all those that are always observing?
Being a great teacher can only help make us a better coach. Being a great teacher can only help us learn to communicate more efficiently and effectively as a coach. Being a great teacher can only help us be organized and disciplined as a coach. Being a great teacher can only help eliminate some of the angles others will try to pursue to push us out of our job as a coach.
I take great pride in the fact that many of those students I am missing have no idea I am the basketball coach. They just know that I love teaching American history and do my best at it. I challenge coaches of all sports to use this time to become a better version of yourself as a human being, family member, teacher, and coach. Not only are your students depending on you, but the future is as well.