The downside to dual duties


Michelle Stoddart, Managing Editor

For the most part, coaches on campus are also teachers. Although there are understandable reasons behind it, the policy of having coaches teach a class as well deteriorates the quality of learning for students, and makes teaching more difficult for the teachers that are also coaches.

For the district, it is more economical, because they have fewer pensions to fund, and fewer insurances to cover. In addition, coaches would earn less than ten thousand dollars a year if they didn’t teach.

When a sport is in season, the time commitment for the students is huge. However, for the coaches, it is even more so. Coaches have to prepare practice drills, lineups, coordinate all the nuances that factor into a team’s success. This is a difficult task, however when being a coach is one’s full time job, it is manageable. However, mix this task with teaching up to six class periods a day and the load becomes nearly impossible.

When one spreads oneself too thin, one area or another has to pay. If a coach is paying more attention to the classroom, then his athletes may not have a well prepared coach, and therefore are much less likely to win. The same is true if a coach focuses too much on their athletes, they will not have as much time in the classroom, and their students are much less likely to excel academically.

Also, the time a coach spends in a sport may make him unavailable to his or her students in need of extra help. For example, if a coach’s sport is in the morning and a student’s sport is in the afternoon, the two may not have any time for tutoring. This problem may decrease the student’s likelihood of excelling in the classroom.

Another issue with the practice is that it forces a coach (who, frankly, may not be a great teacher) to become a teacher. They may take a class that doesn’t seem like it’s extremely important, and turn them into ‘blow off classes’. Although this is not selective to coaches, they can have a tendency to do so due to their focus on their sport.

Although this benefits the coach because as a teacher they earn better wages, it truly does hurt both the students and the athletes. If a coach can successfully do both, they should get the option, but they should not be pressured into being a teacher if they would only like to be a coach.