The “coaching” post generated criticism. Several individuals argued that coaching can include good attributes and there is nothing wrong with the term. Some teachers, who have been or are currently called coaches, took offense.
I am not criticizing teachers/coaches personally. I never said that if you have the title coach, you are not a good teacher. I am by no means criticizing you personally if you are called coach. But if you are a real career teacher, or an alternative teacher who has committed to teaching academics as a career, I think you should be called a teacher and not a coach.
Make no mistake, being called a coach goes along nicely with the focus on test scores. So if you are a teacher who doesn’t like so much standardized testing, you should wonder about being called a coach.
I am calling into question the label coach in place of the academic teacher. I believe it has its origin with the corporatization of public schools, which started a long time ago, way before Common Core was a glint in Bill Gates’s eye. But I don’t think it is any wonder, and no surprise, that Common Core-funded teachers are often called coaches.
I think the term coach, applied to teaching academics, is all about test-prep.
As I stated before, schools have become more competitive pushing the idea of winning and losing in the academic arena. Just consider the title: Race to the Top! Standardized testing falls neatly into this domain. More and more we see teachers (many against their better judgment) pushing students to “win” with test scores. As coaches you need to push your students pretty hard if you want to get those Value-Added scores high enough to keep your jobs!
Public education is not, and should not be, a game, and tests, many of us agree, are misused and overused. My guess is that many of you who call yourself Coaches also don’t like standardized testing.
I also think I made it clear that when it comes to sports, the term coach is a more than appropriate. Coaches also teach and show that they care for their team etc. Coaching in the sports arena is well-respected (and well paid). But coaching sports, when you get down to it, is about winning and losing. Academics should be different.
Since this post generated clarification on my part, I double checked for some support. I was surprised to find similar thoughts by none other than John Merrow who I sometimes disagree with. I have included the link here http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=6194.