Do you think schools are too obsessed with sports?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Actually it sometimes seems America in general just has an inexplicable sports obsession to the point where if a student doesn't enjoy sports, people will think that something is wrong with them or that they are unhealthy.

    A quick look at some of the top educational systems around the world generally show an absence of the sports fanaticism that we have here in the US.

    I mean isn't it ridiculous that the highest paying positions at academic institutions are college sports coaches who make 7 and 8 figure salaries while professors make much less?

    Most high schools spend a ton more money on sports than they do on academic subjects, and this article recounts how complete removal of sports increased performance and school atmosphere greatly: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/the-case-against-high-school-sports/309447/

    I personally cannot empathize with the sports fanaticism shared by my students, parents, and colleagues who feel that sports improves the lives of students in a way that they cannot achieve through regular academics, especially when there is very little evidence to show that it does.

    What is your opinion on this topic?
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm a bit sports obsessed. I love the sports radio station here. The afternoon show is amazing. I listen to it pretty much daily.

    I leave a few miles from Ohio State so trust me when I say I understand sports obsessions ;) OSU can pay Urban whatever they want as long as the football team brings in the $$$ they do and national attention. Like it or not, money talks. I doubt there's a professor at OSU bringing in money the way the football team does. BF is a graduate. I can't tell you how many people I've met who went there largely because of football. We've had friends travel throughout the country and around the world. You never have to look too far to find an OSU bar. I love those things. I love that about my sorority too. It's an instant connection in a place far from home.

    Obviously there are problems when players are getting away with illegal things or getting grades they didn't earn. The $$ aspect I have zero problems with.

    As for high school, my town shuts down on Friday nights. It seems like most of the town shows up for games. Again, I absolutely love that. It gives such a feeling of community. I've never been asked to change grades. Student athletes are students first at my school. I couldn't teach anywhere that saw them as athletes first. That's a huge problem IMO.

    I saw how many businesses lost money after LeBron left. I've seen what a good team can do for a city. I had the pleasure of going to the Indians playoff game in Cleveland last year. The city was electric. I hadn't seen it that way since LeBron left. For a city like Cleveland, having LeBron back will definitely help businesses and the city itself.

    Full disclosure: I realize I sound like a sports nut. You should see my BF :lol:

    Edit: many districts around me are pay to play. Participation in a sport can cost as much as $600. The school pays almost nothing in those cases. I do feel sports can teach invaluable skills like teamwork, healthy workout habits, etc... It also increases that sense of belonging. I know I loved that when I got into riding.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    While I'm glad that my own children were able to participate in school sports, I am sickened with the focus that my area places on them. Coaches will beg (and even bully) teachers to change grades. Other teachers will go to bat for star players, yet ignore those that sit on the bench. Athletes get away with all sorts of infractions that others do not. We had a student who was suspended out of school get his punishment reduced so he could participate in a signing day ceremony.

    But it is only for the big three sports: football, basketball and baseball. If you golf, play lacrosse or soccer, you won't receive nearly as much extra help.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    This pretty well sums up everything bad about sports in school.

    I'm thankful our coaches aren't like this. I know some in the area who are.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I do think that many high schools and colleges spend too much money on sports. Also they emphasize the school's football team's won-loss record a bit too much.

    I also have seen first hand how much middle school sports teams can be a positive benefit to both boys and girls. I have seen the students learn a lot about putting something before themselves for often the first time (the team).

    It is amazing to see the boys and girls of ages 10, 11, and even 12 playing sports at the beginning of the season for the first time on an organized team. They often struggle so much at the beginning of the year, and through hard work they do so much better. It was in sports where I learned that hard work and effort can be more important than ability.

    An example of the incredible joy I see in my students during sports would be one girl who went out for softball. She struck out each time she was at the plate game after game. Then one game she hit the ball weakly to the pitcher for a ground out. You would have thought she just had won the lottery. The next day she asked if I saw the 2 hits she got. I guess her ground out was a hit to her. I was puzzled about the other one. She said "Don't you remember the foul ball I got". Then I smiled remembering the foul ball where she just barely hit the bottom of the ball. It reminds me that sometimes certain joys in life children see that adults miss.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm also concerned about how sports can take over a community, as dg said, to the point where students or people who are uninterested in sports are seen as outsiders.

    Those who are athletes are generally regarded at the top-caste level socially among their peers, and are generally the ones who are voted prom kings and queens, student government, etc. while the other students are deemed outcasts, loners, or people who just don't quite fit in. In many cases it's not that they don't fit in or don't have friends. It's that they don't meet the norm of being a sports-lover in our society.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I just don't buy that these are lessons that you can't learn without sports. Why not the academic decathalon? Why don't teachers just put more emphasis in working on teams and projects in class.

    And students need to learn that hard work and effort is more important than ability in academic classes than they do in sports functions. The lesson doesn't always translate to academics either.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    It is true that boys who are the best in sports are often the top of "the caste system". Girls have their own caste system with the prettiest ones and the ones who have the best clothes leading the top of the "caste system". One year I had a group of boys where nearly all of them disliked sports (it has only happened once in 20+ years). This group still had a caste system, it was just the toughest and meanest kids being the most popular.

    Therefore, I believe if you get rid of sports for boys you don't get rid of the caste system. Also, I was alive before Title IX and girls sports. My personal experience is that sports for girls have been much more of a positive than a negative.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I agree with you that important life lessons are not reserved to only sports. I agree that sports are not necessary for all. I do think that a school should have many types of clubs such as band, art, academic, chess, cheerleading, singing such as choir, dance, robotics, and many more. Possibly sports gets too big of a piece of the pie, but I do believe it is a piece of a pie that is beneficial to lots of boys and girls.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nowhere did I say people who don't like sports are outsiders. ALL events at my school are well-attended. The three nights of our musical are always sold out. The auditorium is PACKED for band and choir concerts. We're a small town so a lot of what there is to do is built upon the school.

    I don't understand your vendetta against sports that seems to come out here. I've ridden since I was three. I've made friendships that have literally lasted a lifetime. I keep in touch with people I rode with; I don't with people I attended school with.

    I believe every kid deserves a chance to figure out what his/her passion is and what hobby they want to have. I love baseball. It's a great way to spend three hours with friends. If my kids want to swim, fine by me. If they want to play baseball, go right ahead. If they decide that playing the flute is for them, I'll support it 100%. Drawing is their thing? Sign them up for art classes.
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I love sports, but yes, schools put an offensively large emphasis on them.
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am concerned with the winning above all else attitude. I used to love sports, now I just like them.

    I am sick and tired of watching 5 basketball players fight for a ball that goes out of bounds and all 5 point at opposing players trying to goad the refs.

    A wide receiver and a defensive back fighting for a pass and both throwing their arms up for penalties.

    Soccer players rolling on the ground acting as if their leg is broke, trying to draw a penalty, then running as if nothing happened 15 seconds later.

    Sportsmanship and how you play the game is missing right now in our culture and that is a shame.
     
  14. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    I don't have a problem at all with sports. Both my sons play on youth football teams. The season is just starting. They've made friends outside of school and the neighborhood. They've learned how to deal with losing and being a good winner. My husband went to college on a football schalorship where he earned his degree in finance.
    They could have learned these lessons without playing sports? Yes, but the fact of the matter is, they are athletic kids who like to run and throw a ball.
    Growing up I knew kids who would not go to school and keep a C average if they didn't have a sport to play. Just like there were kids who, if not for band, choir, the rifle team, and the robotics club, would not have come to school. All learning in school is not academic, and there are lots of kids who go to school for more than the three R's.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    No. You said that sports pretty much runs your community. I'm extrapolating about how those who are not interested in attending the games and choose to stay home feel.



    I agree. My concern is with parents who groom their child to be football stars and end up disappointed (along with the rest of their family and community) when their son likes drama instead.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I agree. But the pie right now is 98% sports, with 2% everything else, and this is true for funding and social recognition.

    This discussion isn't even hitting upon the topic of high schools who did away with sports entire had students who were happier, performed better academically, and who became more successful with no deleterious effects.

    Also it hasn't yet hit upon why the best educational systems around the world do not emphasize sports to even a fraction of the degree to which we emphasize sports.
     
  17. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I have heard and read that in certain cultures where education is valued above all else this is common as well.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is true. But academics also better correlates to job success in the future and the parents who do this are aware of that. For sports parents usually what takes center stage is that they want their kid to be popular in High School.
     
  19. John Lee

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    That is your perception though. The reality though, is that love of sports isn't being pushed onto unwilling participants. Our society... heck, our world, love sports. It is what it is... It would be like complaining about schools pushing eating meat (as opposed to vegetarian). It is a societal, human dynamic. People like to eat meat, and they like to compete in sport. To act like it isn't the case is just lack of acknowledgement.

    And for the record, I would probably agree. I shake my head, thinking about friends who complain yet tote their kid to club soccer, club basketball, all weekend.
     
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am not sure this is true, I think you may be making some huge assumptions or stereotyping based on some high profile documentaries.

    Again, I do believe there is a problem with win at all costs mentality and this goes for any field, sport, activity...ect. However, I don't think sports is some evil entity, prolly just the opposite.
     
  21. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Beemer at VT brings in the big money, so he probably well earns his keep. VT is a pretty serious, academically focused school, but we (well, not me since I'm not a fan) love our football there.

    Many professors also earn quite a lot if they bring in big research money. They can also earn consulting fees under some circumstances, or profit from patents, depending on the school and agreements in place.

    You really can't compare the salaries. If the big coaches didn't bring in revenue streams, they wouldn't be paid. It's not like the money to pay them would otherwise go towards academics. Without the football program, the money wouldn't exist.
     
  22. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I'd like to think that I see both sides of this issue.....

    So what? Life is not academics. Life is comprehensive. There are things accomplished on the playing field - human interactions - that can never be duplicated in a classroom.

    To a point, yes, it is.
    Professors serve more of the college community than the coaches do and provide lifetime career skills to the students. Then there is the other side of it; I'm paraphrasing a famous quote and I can't recall who said it, "When 100,000 people fill a stadium to hear a science lecture, then they deserve as much money as we get."

    Around here, there are only a handful of high schools I know of that create a position like "Audio/Visual Aids Distributor," and pay that person $70,000 - with no teaching responsibilities - who happens to also be the head football coach.

    Would I like to see things better distributed? Yes.
    Is it a sin that I've come across fulltime college instructors that have to work a second job just to make ends meet? It sure is!
    But I also understand how much college football and basketball programs bring into their schools with ticket sales, merchandise sales, and television contracts.


    :dunno:
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Not sure if there is a correlation or not. Some great universities in the Unites States have good sports programs, some do not. Also, lets look at other continents. Europe has been known for lots of good schools in many of its countries. They go crazy over their soccer (yes, I know those in Europe..it is futbol). Africa appears to be less obsessed with sports and few would say that they have the finest universities in the world. I think the situation is complicated and doesn't provide simple correlations to show that sports do or don't hurt academics IMO.
     
  24. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I can count on one hand the number of students I teach who don't come to football games. Often they are very good friends with the players. You seem to be misunderstanding my community. Maybe I haven't explained it well. We graduated just under 50 seniors last year. Of those 50, only about 20 were in our building all day. Everyone else was at the career center or PSEO. There are many of those kids who do their own thing in the nearest city (about 20 minutes). Are there kids who feel left out on Friday nights? Perhaps. But then they have their band concert or their art show or their musical. Just as many people attend those events.

    I think you will always have parents who try and live out their dreams through their kids. It's not just limited to sports though. I see it in academics as well.

    I think your Europe argument is weak at best TBH. Sports is just one of many, many things that are done differently over there. I'd argue in some cases it starts with the difference in maternity/paternity leave. You have to look at the whole picture.
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm not a sports fan and have never felt like an outsider, although perhaps that would be different for males? I just can't get into watching any sports- they all bore me, except for the Olympics! I swam in high school, and enjoyed the camaraderie of my team. I was a better student than swimmer, but I'm glad I had the experience because it is different than what you get with academics or other extracurriculars. I will go to baseball/football games because they're a fun environment, but not to watch the actual game. I just went to a baseball game with some girlfriends this weekend and I'd guess we spent less than 5 minutes actually watching the game. I enjoyed going to games in high school and college for the same reason- it was a fun place to hang out and I'd want our team to win- I just wasn't going to spend 3 hours intently watching people chase a ball around or whatever. i would say that even being from a sports-centered town, many people were the same way I was. I never missed a football game on a Friday night, but I'd spend the whole time walking around/hanging out with my friends. At least 50% of the student body was doing the same thing I was. Funny someone mentioned OSU- I literally cannot stand the fanaticism that surrounds that team. It's one of the things that definitely makes me less proud of my home state- people literally running around and yelling out the spelling of "Ohio" in grocery stores and whatnot. Embarrassing!

    Even being a non-fan, I'm glad my tiny hometown had high school sports to kind of bring it together. I mean really, there was nothing else to do, lol. It's a nice community activity. My parents still attend the football games, even though they no longer have any connection to the school (with a large group of their friends who also no longer have connections to the school). All of our coaches were real teachers, and there were GPA guidelines for playing. If there was corruption within the system, I never heard much about it. My high school's "basic" level classes were pretty much impossible to fail anyway, so I doubt there were many situations were coaches would even need to try to get a teacher to change a grade. I think this is region-specific too. In my home state high school sports are definitely big. Here, unless your child is an athlete people couldn't care less. I've worked in three different districts and never heard a peep about attending football games or anything, and one of the areas I taught in was more rural than my hometown. When I mention the difference, people always say, "That's because they have nothing else to do there (Ohio)."
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Waterfall, I love OH-IO chant! I dislike the "OSU can do wrong" vibe though, like with the marching band right now. I definitely find that embarrassing. Perhaps cat will chime in with some of her funny stories of people yelling "OH!" at her.

    If people think Ohio is weird about sports, they should travel to some parts of Texas! My senior year, we'd beaten our rival for seven straight years. I remember being locked in the night before to decorate (by choice-and yes, all 194 of us elected to join). Then we had a HUGE pep rally the next day. I still have fond, fond memories. And we went on to beat them for our 8th straight year. (We won't talk about the years since I graduated...)
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I'm not a huge sports fan of anything but basketball, but just because I love basketball our son never played. So what? He was in a ton of bands and ensembles, and I would guess that I have attended more football games because of that tie in than I would have ever dreamed possible. I understand football very well, I just don't really care for it. What I do care for, however, is the chance for some students to find a place to belong. I've had students who were barely hanging on with grades, but who continued the good fight to play/participate in certain sports or activities. What is gained by taking that away from them? Yes, coaches make OK money under college, and better money at universities. I don't begrudge them that, honestly, because I wouldn't want the job for all the tea in China. I could say the same for the person who heads the plays, creates and conducts the music ensembles, runs the service programs for students, takes kids to other countries as part of the foreign language programs, and the list goes on. I am going to say that it takes a complete village to raise, support, and nurture our students and children. Don't like sports? Don't attend. Mildly interested? Go when you feel like it. Your support is a personal issue, and I don't think that I am harmed, as a teacher, by the sports programs. Student drivers - hey that is another issue!

    To each their own.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Lol, makes me think of the show Friday Night Lights, which I absolutely loved! It reminded me somewhat of my hometown, but we weren't quite that obsessed.
     
  29. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I loved that show! To me it demonstrated some of the things that make sports awesome.

    I also want to piggyback off what another poster said. Some of my students' sole motivation is to be eligible to play. Their grades are significantly higher when they're "in season". It gives them a structure and routine that some kids really thrive on.
     
  30. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Is there any basis in reality to the claim that some students are only attending school for the sports? Has an actual study been done on this? I only ask because the article I cited seemed to state the contrary. That when sports were taken out of schools those students still attended and the behavior improved.

    Also I'm not saying that we should abolish all sports, just even the playing field so to speak (sports adage).

    DG I think the fact that you can count on one hand the students who didn't attend the football games actually rather frightening. It meant that those students didn't feel comfortable at the games and only had the other few students on your hand to empathize with them.

    I know that it seems hunky dory from your point of view when you're a part of the festival atmosphere of sports but just because it seems fine to you doesn't mean everyone sees it that way.

    And I get that everyone here loves sports and are extremely defensive of it. It's been an American past-time for decades and made its way into the school system in an attempt to get students from getting into sports related fights in non-monitored games outside of school. I don't expect to find many people who agree with my point of view, but I think it's an important one to point out.

    Also even though Europe is obsessed with soccer/football they're no where near as obsessed as America is about sports in general.
     
  31. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Yes. Definitely. WAY too much emphasis.
     
  32. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Peregrin, those are MY students. If you notice, most of our juniors and seniors either do PSEO or the career center. There are more of those kids who don't come.

    You seem to be presenting an either-or option, either the kids are at the game or they're home upset at being left out. I see multiple options. When I ask students what they did over the weekend, I get many answers. "Oh, I went to a movie and/or dinner Friday night with my SO/friends" is a common answer for those who don't go to the games. Our students are also good friends with students from other districts. It's not like just because my individual students don't go, they don't have anything to do in another town. I also have students who come to the games but couldn't even tell you who won. They come for the social aspect.

    Just because they choose not to come to a game, doesn't mean it's because they feel uncomfortable. They are allowed to CHOOSE not to go. Maybe they're grounded, maybe they went on a date, maybe they're sick, maybe they went to visit family, maybe they're hanging out with friends from another district.

    Contrary to what you seem to think, I strive to be as inclusive as possible. I attend as many activities as I can. I talk to students about their interests when I can. Do I love sports? Of course, but I also love music, animals, zumba, a few TV shows, Harry Potter, reading, hanging with friends, etc... I try to connect with all my students by finding out about them.

    I did not go to every sporting event in high school or college. I didn't even come close, but it wasn't because I felt uncomfortable going. I had other interests. I spent many a Friday night prepping for horse shows or at Steak and Shake with friends.

    I find all the leaps you're making rather appalling. My students often have friends outside our district. You seem to be making out my students to be friendless if they don't go to a football game, which simply isn't true.

    I know you're from CA so maybe you just don't understand how truly tiny we are? We are a small, rural, farming community. We have at least three other districts within fifteen minutes of the center of our town. Many of our kids go to church with those kids, participate in activities, play in summer leagues, etc...

    Edit: we will always have schools who put too much emphasis on things. Some put the emphasis on sports. Some IMO put too much emphasis on academics. When you're driving kids to stay up until 3 or 4 am so they can try and be valedictorian, something is wrong. Some have phenomenal arts programs that get all the funding/attention. My high school plays such a school in football. Not even all the parents attend the game, let alone other members of the community.
     
  33. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Okay, if this is true then why is it that the 3 teams which bring in the most revenue of any sports in the entire world are all in Europe. Yes 3 soccer teams in Europe bring in more revenue than any NFL, NBA, or Major League baseball team.

    I do agree that too many Americans have too large of an obsession of pro sports. I don't agree that is unique to America. I also think that obsession is different than the simple pleasure and positive experience that children get from participating in sports.
     
  34. Portulaca

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    Jul 31, 2014

    This is such a personal thing, with so many childhood memories affecting it. For what it's worth, though, I agree with you, Peregrin. The thing that bugged me about going to school in a rural, sports-obsessed culture, and later subbing in the same place, was that it seemed like teaching jobs were hoarded and doled out to desirable coaches with little regard for their teaching and academic skills, or lack thereof. I should say that this was just my opinion as a more academically-minded kid; I know many others judged by other criteria and came to different conclusions. I also certainly had some coaches that taught well, but I think that was due more to serendipity rather than admin actually screening for those qualities. Worse, in my opinion, is the shenanigans districts around here pull to get coaches teaching jobs for which they don't meet the licensing requirements. It seems like the justification in the back of people's minds is that coaches are guaranteed to be able to connect with students well, just like they do with their players, so that makes up for any deficiencies. One of my student-teaching master teachers told me at the beginning of the semester that he doubted I would be a good teacher; because I didn't coach, he said, I wouldn't know how to get concepts across to the kids. I kind of got his point, but...sheesh, talk about considering your own way the only way. Most admin here were coaches themselves, so if they connect with a candidate, I guess they assume everyone will. And it's true, a fairly large number of kids really connect with coaches as teachers, and that's important, but I don't think the proportion of kids for which that is true quite aligns with the proportion of the staff made up of coaches.

    I had to go see teachers during their preps sometimes while I was subbing (to ask questions, etc.) and it seemed to be pretty common for teacher-coaches to be using their preps for coaching matters. For something like math, this seemed to work out OK more often than not, but for something like social studies that often requires way more time to prep adequately, it really seemed to lead to an over-reliance on colleagues to provide materials and lesson plans. I observed this watching my second (non-coach) master teacher interact with colleagues while I was student teaching.

    Obviously, not everyone uses their planning time for academic matters, and I realize a coach/teacher has a really tight schedule so I'm not necessarily saying I would act differently in their situation. Still, I don't think the overall effect is good for academics.

    As for the European thing, while some people are right that European cultures may be sports-obsessed in general, the major difference is that the sports leagues are not affiliated with the school systems.
     
  35. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well I can't say for certain, but my guess is that because it's a world-wide sport, it draws revenue from a larger base of spectators? NFL, NBA, and MLB is all US based only. People around the world watch the different European and other sports teams play.

    But I see your point. Things got pretty crazy during the World Cup recently. Still the countries that are doing way better academically generally don't have huge sports presences. Finland, S. Korea, etc.
     
  36. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    See. I always found that coaches connected well with the kids that were on the sports teams. Essentially only the kids that people cared about. The ones who weren't on a sports team were ignored in the classroom while those who played sports enjoyed special relationships with the teacher and in some cases favoritism.

    I shared a similar experience with you, in which I was observing a teacher who was a coach who mentioned that I could only become a good teacher if I coached a sport. It was a ridiculously rude proposition.

    DG: Fair enough. You have more experience with your students and community than I do. I just know that I and others I grew up with wouldn't feel comfortable or welcome in your community.
     
  37. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    OP, I understand your point of view but I disagree with you.

    Also, I'm not sure where you are getting your information about the rest of the world and the sports cultures... but my personal experience suggests the opposite of what you are saying. I have lived on several different continents, have done an extensive amount of traveling, and my significant other is from another country. Sports are big everywhere. Including countries that are doing "better" (I think that is relative, to be honest) academically.

    I will say, however, that schools should not allow athletes special treatment. But I think that is more a problem with administration / teachers / parents than sports.
     
  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Truly I don't understand how you can say that without ever having set foot in my community. It makes me very sad that you would just disregard an entire community like that. I have students who hate sports, no doubt. I had a girl who this past year who just didn't like them. She didn't see the point. However, she thrived at our school. She was a bright, ambitious student. She did extremely well and talked about how much she liked different classes and teachers. I find your attitude to be very strange about the community I teach in. We have teachers who have zero interest in sports. They have been here for years and love teaching at my school. We have a very supportive parent population who realize the importance of a good education. We have admin who stand behind their teachers and give them the tools they need to do their jobs.

    One of my favorite teachers in HS was a coach. I never played any school sponsored sports. There are all types out there. Bad teachers and good. It's not limited to coaching. I'm sorry that's been your experience.

    I would never want to be like S. Korea with their suicide rate what it is and the articles I've read. http://monitor.icef.com/2014/01/high-performance-high-pressure-in-south-koreas-education-system/

    BF's parents were recently in Munich during a soccer game. They said it was absolutely nuts and could easily rival any game day here.

    If this is an interesting topic to you, check out the book Smartest Kids in the World. Then I would start doing your own traveling. Check out just how different those schools are. Find a system that works. There's a lot that they do in some European countries that I would love to have here. Starting with their amazing transportation and maternity/paternity leave. You also can't lump all of Europe together. France is very different from Slovenia, for example. There's a lot of good to be learned from other countries! Have you had a chance to travel abroad? If not, I highly recommend it.
     
  39. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My husband and I were just saying that one of the things we are most excited about going back to school is high school football! The pep rallies, the cheerleaders, the games, the athletes wearing their jerseys to school on game days, the band! It's just all so exciting! Every year it reminds me of the Better Than Ezra song "This Time of Year." The school where I teach also has very competitive basketball, track, tennis, soccer, and lacrosse teams, and probably some I've left out. I find that the athletes at our school are very focused and conscientious about their studies because the coaches make them run for bad grades or discipline infractions. The coaches never pressure the teachers to give grades, just pressure the athletes to earn those grades. Our ROTC leaders and leaders of some organizations do the same thing. I hope that all students are able to find their family at school, whether it's on a sports team, drama club, ROTC, or the stoners who hang out in the parking lot.
     
  40. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jul 31, 2014

    I disagree. DG and I live in the same community. I don't care for football and don't pay much attention to sports in general, with hockey being a major exception. My husband earned two degrees from Ohio State and HATES football.

    We are not pariahs in our community, nor was he as a student. We use the home games as times to grab groceries or run other errands because it's when so many of our neighbors are screaming at their televisions. It's mostly a matter of timing driving home so we don't get stuck in the post-game traffic.

    If we do get invited to watch a game, we go and enjoy the company, even if we're a little bored. For me, it was the same way I felt attending games in high school. I attended a few football games but hung out with the band when they weren't playing. Wrestling was more fun for me to watch, but that was because my father was the coach and I have a deeply ingrained understanding of the sport.

    The nice thing is that my friends who invite us to watch a game or two accept my invitations to come see me in plays, even if it isn't their thing.
     
  41. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Soccer is the only sport that is really big everywhere. And there are fewer big soccer events than all of the sports events we have here in the states, so yes, while their World Cup days can be crazy, they happen a lot less frequently than our big events because we have a different sport for every season.

    Also as Portaluca so keenly discerned, sports may be big everywhere, but only in the US is it deeply integrated into our school system. I think the degree to which it is integrated is a problem in both the High School and College levels, though the issues that derive from either level may be different and incomparable to each other. As for the Pro Sports level, yes we have a huge following of sports, and it may be problematic sometimes, but I'm more worried about how it affects our schools.
     
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