The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Balancing act: the reality of teacher-coaches

Teacher-coaches take on two different roles. How do they navigate their busy schedules?
Hadley Andersen
Teacher-coaches take on two different roles. How do they navigate their busy schedules?

Most teachers have a lot on their plates. They have to grade assignments or tests, participate in faculty meetings and teach curriculum to students. However, some teachers have even more on their schedule at Liberty because they also coach a school sport. 

Ryan Kelly, a math teacher and head varsity coach for boy’s basketball, finds it easier to manage his schedule by using a calendar and planning what his spring and summer will look like. 

“I think organization is really important because it allows me to manage my time with regards to planning and what I do outside of the classroom as well,” Kelly said. 

Being organized can help reduce stress within a schedule. Taking the time to sit down and plan out the upcoming week can improve work efficiency. Regardless of being naturally organized, it’s normal to face challenges in managing schedules. 

Kelly’s perfectionism also presents certain challenges. 

“Sometimes when I don’t live up to my own expectations because I didn’t put enough time into something, it frustrates me. I try to be the best that I can be whether it’s a coach, my personal health or teaching,” Kelly explained. 

Kelly prioritizes talking to other staff members to help better himself as a coach and a teacher.

“Collaborating with other coaches and staff has always been something I jumped right into. As a young coach, I want to talk to all the veteran coaches about how they are planning things, how are they communicating, what good ideas they have and how I can implement that into our program. As a teacher, it’s a huge piece to our success. One thing we are focusing on this year is our professional learning communities at Liberty,” Kelly said. 

Balancing academic needs, while also prioritizing athletic development is something Kelly practices in his classroom.

“For me, the biggest thing that I try to work on with student-athletes is time management. A lot of times as a teacher, there are five minutes left of class that I usually give my students to work on homework. Most of the time students don’t want to work for the last five minutes, but I encourage practicing time-management skills. Sometimes as coaches, we get a little crazy about our sport, but it’s important to remember you’re a student first and an athlete second,” Kelly states. 

One piece of advice Kelly would give to other teachers who are interested in teaching a school sport is to love what you are doing. 

“What keeps me going is I absolutely love coaching basketball, I know that teaching pays the bills, but I have a really big passion for basketball, if you’re going to do both, you need to have a passion for coaching and teaching,” Kelly expressed. 

Ryan Steward, a history teacher and assistant varsity coach for girls’ soccer, finds it difficult to manage his time between coaching and teaching. 

“I want my students to know that I do not want to be the coach-teacher that puts teaching off. I want my students to be successful but it’s hard because there are times when school is done for the day [and] you have to go right into coaching mode,” Steward explained. 

Schedules can be stressful especially when they are packed full of events. Steward is appreciative of his two prep periods and his colleagues. 

“I’ve been lucky working with a student teacher and a good colleague, we can bounce ideas off of each other and I feel like I don’t have to do this all on my own. The collaboration within the school has made it easier for me and the same thing goes for our whole coaching staff. We’re really good at communicating,” Steward said. 

A piece of advice Steward would give to other teachers who are interested in coaching a school sport while maintaining teaching responsibilities is remember why you’re doing it. 

“It’s very rewarding in the end because you’re getting to share two things you really like with the students you get to work with. There’s going to be really long nights, it’s not always going to be fun, but, ultimately you have to remember why you’re doing it,” Steward said.

These are just some of the teachers who also coach a Liberty sport. Their schedules can be very stressful and time-consuming but in the end, they are doing it so the students can have a better experience during their time in high school.

Don't miss our latest posts!

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with the Live Wire's newest content!

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Hadley Andersen
Hadley Andersen, Reporter
Hadley is a sophomore at Liberty and this is her first year on the Liberty Live Wire Staff. Most of her time outside of school is spent training as an equestrian, when she is not at her barn she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and watching movies.