Teachers coach in the classroom, on the field

Mekala Valentin and Christian Ramierez

Mekala Valentin
FROM COURT TO CLASSROOM: When Coach Dan O’Dell first started teaching and coaching at the same time, he adapted by managing his time and organizing ahead of time. The similarity between the two, teaching and coaching, helped O’Dell adapt as well. “I found the transition to be much easier than I anticipated because the parallels between the two are similar,” he said. “I like to say that I’m either coaching math or teaching volleyball, it’s all the same.”

Students aren’t the only ones that come to school early or stay late while balancing academics and sports practices and games. Some teachers – a total of 12 at the school – have similar busy schedules while balancing teaching and coaching sports.

Boys soccer Coach Sean Ganey said that though there are differences between coaching and teaching, there are many similarities.

“The progression, the guided discovery, the mastery, the assessments are all similar,” Ganey said in an email. “I pretty much teach how I coach. Compete! Every day is a practice session and every exam is game day.”

Mekala Valentin
FRIENDLY COMPETITION: Sean Ganey, who teaches math and coaches boys soccer, inspires his students with friendly competition. “The most stressful thing about teaching is making sure that my students are doing better at than [girl’s volleyball coach Brittany Reese’s] or [swim coach Ken Dory’s] students on the chapter exams,” Ganey said.
For Dan O’Dell, the girls volleyball coach, the biggest difference is discipline.

“The manner of discipline is different,” O’Dell said. “On the court, it’s easy to simply have the kids run when things get out of line … Classroom management takes a greater amount of focus than on the court.”

He said that coaching contributes to teaching in the classroom in more than one way.

“I think the way you converse with your students/athletes is very similar,” he said over email. “You try to get them to ‘buy-in’ to your message and make sure they are eager to do the jobs asked of them. Creating your culture in both your classroom and sports program will greatly contribute to the success that occurs.”

Christian Ramirez
SHARING A PASSION: “I studied biology in college and I really like sharing my knowledge of science with other people, and I’m trying to hopefully get them excited about learning science,” said Chloe Silance, who teaches science and coaches girls lacrosse.

In order to manage both her students and athletes, Coach Chloe Silance uses Canvas. Silance, a first-year teacher, teaches biology and Earth science and also coaches girls lacrosse.

Silance uses her coaching skills to to help her in the classroom. She said it’s easier to get her student’s attention, than trying to get the attention of 40 or 50 girls on the field.

“I am learning different methods to my girls and explain things differently because not all students learn things the same way, so therefore not all the people on the field are not going to learn things the same way,” Silance said.