Teacher As a Coach

Written by Posted On Friday, 16 September 2022 00:00

As we begin this school year with our young people back in their seats, the question becomes can we as parents and teachers be more tolerant and understanding of their emotional needs after the long years of pandemic causing such havoc?

As a school principal, I have often reminded classroom teachers that they are coaches as well as teachers. I raised four young people in my early days as a parent – well, I should say their mother did most of the day-to-day teaching as I was all too often in the classroom or on the field raising/teaching other people’s children. I’ve had to remind myself that all children are not the same.

While the coach on the field/gym may have one or two assistants to divide up the teaching responsibilities, the classroom teacher is often left to herself to deal with 30-40 in that classroom. How do you teach in that environment and help each student work toward their potential?

Perhaps it is like you as a parent? Parents must decide what is best for their children. It is important to remember that each child is unique and will grow to their own potential if given the proper guidance and support. By providing a loving and nurturing environment, parents can help their children reach their full potential.

As a coach on the field or in the gym, not all players are quarterbacks or leaders. Some are linemen of supporters or followers. It was my major responsibility to learn all I could about each one’s strengths and/or deficiencies and build on their strengths as well as help them improve any deficiency they may have. That’s where my coaching experience helped me in the classroom. I felt if my team lost, what could I do to improve a player’s weaknesses for the next time i.e., the next game?

I felt if my team lost due to a failure of a player or players, it was my job to help that player or players for the next time. This is where the teacher versus coach comes in. If a student is failing a test in my class, what can I do to help that student for next time?

Question: Is it the teacher’s fault when a student fails? Will you ponder that question in light of a coach whose team loses a game?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.


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