Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #28
In my fifth year, once I returned from a year in grad school, I ceased being a transactional teacher.
Instead, I found myself evolving into a transformational teacher.
If you had a transformational coach (and I didn’t in high school, but I worked with one – and have the pleasure of working with one currently – in Coach Mumm), you don’t know how lucky you are.
Instead of focusing just on their glory days and winning, a transformational coach focuses on team and community first. They don’t relive their glory years constantly. You can tell in about five minutes that the focus of everything they do is about their players and not them.
Don’t lie. How many coaches have you watched (and, again, this was how I was early in my coaching career) who while they stand on the sidelines you can tell it is all about them. How they talk to the officials. How they scour at their players. How they make a big production to call attention to themselves. Or even how they pout when they fall behind. (Again, I was the same way).
When I came back from graduate school and had some time to reflect on my practice, I realized that giving copious amounts of complex notes about how Finny was a Christ figure and his fall from the tree was symbol to Christ’s crucifixion was not really teaching at all.
The first thing I had to do was build a community in my classroom. (If only I’d have had access to Teach Like a Pirate back then). Then I had to focus first on my students – not the curriculum or textbook. How could I relate the material to them so it connects with them? How can I connect it to the outside world? How can I prove to them that this will actually be useful one day?
I am still on this evolution to becoming a truly transformational coach in the classroom, but at least I am trying. At least I am aware of the damage I did early on in my career as a transactional teacher.
So try to find ways to foster these things in your classroom.
A transformational coach manifests these basic characteristics:
• Builds athletes through teamwork, pride, responsibility, hard work, respect, and sportsmanship
• Teaches athletes sports and life lessons in wins and losses, as well as how to handle wins and losses with dignity and good sportsmanship
• Builds individual and team skills to make the team stronger
• Positive role model, with constructive corrections
• Holds athletes accountable for actions and gives athletes appropriate responsibilities
• Welcomes interactions with parents, as appropriate to situation
Understands, appreciates, and accepts the coaching responsibility in regard to shaping a young athlete’s athletic career, as well as his or her life