Everyone Needs a Coach

coachI’m a Georgia Bulldog fan…I’ll just go ahead and say that. I’m not a huge football fan where I am glued to the TV on the weekends, but I do enjoy a good game and I certainly enjoy watching my team play. I am always fascinated by the week-to-week changes in a team.

Some weeks I think my team will make it to the National Championship game, and other weeks I wonder if this is their first game. And if anything has made it clear that you can never know what to expect from a team, it was last Sunday’s Super Bowl game!

But regardless of how the team performs, there is ultimately one person who is held accountable for the outcome: the coach.

What is it about coaching that makes it one of the highest-paid careers in the industry? As a kid, I used to think coaches had the easiest job because they didn’t physically have to play. Over time I have realized that they have the hardest job of all. Coaches orchestrate a game based on what they think they know about the opposition, make quick decisions based on changing conditions, and hold the greater accountability of success versus failure for their team.

Isn’t that what it’s like for us in education? Many teachers argue that student success lies solely on the student. I remember growing up it was the responsibility of the teacher to lecture and it was our responsibility to learn. To a sense, there is a nugget of truth to that. Greater accountability, however, has been put on the teaching profession to ensure that our students are learning. We don’t have the choice to choose which assessments students are measured by or what standards students are required to master, just in the same way football coaches can’t control the weather during a game, the team they face, or the conditions throughout the game.

What makes a good coach is his or her ability to develop his or her players to be the best in the position they are. What makes a great coach is his or her ability to develop his or her players as a whole to be the best individuals they can be. As teachers, that is our same mission. Good teachers will make sure their students learn Algebra, or whatever subject it is they teach. A great teacher is one who will make sure his or her student is equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in life and to be the best individual he or she can be. It’s the adage of “they don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Why do you think coaches always have the best quotes? I believe it’s because they have the best experiences and the right attitude about teamwork and success.

Who are you coaching?

Post by Shawn Wigg, Former Lead Teacher and 2014 FLVS Teacher of the Year

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