Pandemic Teaching: Entry II


As I am getting down to crunch time, the start of the school year, I find myself overwhelmed with all of the new and unknown tasks that I have to do for this school year. Despite this anxious feeling I have more time to work on all of these new teaching aspects. The reason for this extra time is that I am not doing any coaching right now. Usually I would be out on the football field. I am an assistant coach with the freshmen football team and the head coach of the women’s flag football team. Right now we cannot have any high school sports. No games, no practice, no team get-togethers.

Coaching is one of the underlying reasons I got into the educational career path. I love sports. I love being involved in the competition and the high stakes quick decision making that goes along with coaching. The instant feedback on game strategy and team structure provides numerous opportunities for improvement and growth. The challenge and the feeling of putting together the pieces of a team each year is extremely rewarding. It is a different kind of fulfillment than is found in teaching. Not better, or worse, just something that is not found elsewhere.

Part of the joy in coaching is the expanded connection with the students. Coaches and players get to act different out on the field than we do in the classroom. It is another way to help push our kids to be a better person and to grow in different ways. It is extremely gratifying to see your student athletes put their heart and soul into competing for the team. It feels like an honor when they play the way they were coached to play. Being a coach is a job that carries a lot of responsibility but provides a lot of enjoyment.

This extra time is allowing me to feel better prepared for the unique and challenging school year. At the same time I am missing out on a big part of my job. I am missing out on connecting with more young adults. The students are also missing out on making connections with people who care for them and who want to see them grow and be successful. These are important relationships that we are missing during this time. It is difficult. I hope for myself and for our students it doesn’t last too long.

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On a totally different note I want to acknowledge some young women in Clark County who have not received any recognition for their accomplishment. I am the head coach for the women’s flag football team at my high school and the president of the flag football coaches association in southern Nevada. It was very exciting this last spring when it was announced that women’s flag football would be a varsity scholarship sport at the collegiate level. This opens up a new door for many young women to compete in college in the sport they love while getting their education paid for with an athletic scholarship.

There are 11 student athletes from southern Nevada who have accepted scholarships to play college flag football. They are the first ever from Nevada to receive a scholarship for college flag football. The 11 trailblazing women who will be part of the first group to expand the reach of the sport into the college realm are: Ylla Aparece of Clark High School; Kimberly Ibarra and Sabrina Saldate of Las Vegas High School; Jazlyn Camacho, Sidney Rood, Hannah Serquina, Haliee McKay, Nina Grave De Peralta, Cienna Curtis, Mandolyn Scalisi, and Nicolette De La Carerra of Green Valley High School. Congratulations to these brave student athletes who are courageously stepping up and being part of establishing something new.

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