The Educator and Extra-Curricular


For all of my career, I have done my share of extra-curricular hours.  Some years, more than others, but the total in a year is usually significant.

Even before I started teaching, I began coaching sports – for enjoyment and the hope it could help me land a job.  Some 18 years later, I still am coaching,  doing other extra-curricular activities and yes, administrating  and teaching .  Even though I am more a football coach, I have coached volleyball, basketball, track and field and golf.  These experiences have educated me in many ways and have helped form lasting relationships with many students and fellow educators.  This is another reason educators should do extra-curricular.

Granted our first priority is teaching.  When teaching and coaching coincide, the days are very long and people get tired.  It does not matter if it’s sports or the arts.  However, educators need to support each other during the various seasons.  All too often I go to schools and see a coach running their tournament, coaching their team, supervising the halls, officiating games – basically doing everything.  They probably organized the canteen prior to this and had to find workers as well.  Sometimes teachers are coaching two sports because no one else will step up.  Throw in a conflict with a student and/or parent and this is when people burn out and may quit their specific activity.

What’s the solution?  Easy, support each other.  Efficient school’s have built-in support systems.  These include coaches supporting other coaches, by officiating, coaching or organizing officials. Also, other fellow teachers organizing the canteen or working it with students, supervising, etc.  Granted many times it is one or two staff members who set the standard for this, but administration can help this process as well.  Even though someone may not be experienced in a particular discipline, they can help out.  I am not a drama type person, but I can help at the event or with something prior to it.

So my basic message is this: All teaching staff and administration have a role in extra-curricular no matter the season.  The more educators support each other during the busy times, the less stressed people should be.   When people take on an individual responsibility, it helps the primary person in charge significantly.

Too often, many new teachers are not engaging in extra-curricular or quit an activity at the first sign of conflict.  This should not happen.  Continued involvement in extra-curricular pays dividends in future years. Sometimes, as individuals, we need top have ” thicker skin” but our support systems can be better too.

So stay the course.  Educators, involve yourself in extra-curricular in some way.  If you can’t coach, be an assistant, do the paperwork, supervise, etc.

You have a role and it will be appreciated!

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  1. January 17th, 2011

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