Editor's note: The Board of Education, in contract negotiations withthe Carroll County Education Association, plans to require all high school physical education teachers hired after July 1991 to coach at least two sports. We have been asking readers whether they think the school board should make coaching mandatory for high school phys ed teachers and whether they think physical education training automatically makes those teachers more qualified to coach. Here are some of the replies we received so far:
From: William L. Robinette
First: Why would this be necessary? What will it accomplish? Would this improve the abilities of Carroll County's scholastic teams? Will the physical education teachers be paid additional salary -- or will this be just an add-on of duties? What do the physical education teachers think? Since most of our driver education program is done by the physical education staff, who will take over this?
Second: To answer your questions:
No, the school board should not make this mandatory. It does not follow that physical education training makes a good coach (although it may), any more than saying that a good teacher automatically makes a good administrator (although they may).
All teachers in Carroll County high schools that I haveseen need more assistance in setting up class lessons and handling the myriad piles of paperwork that constantly flow through their hands, seemingly without end!
A physical education teacher is probably a better adviser on conditioning than anyone on a school staff. But they can't do it all. That's why there are classroom teachers coachingand doing a great job for very little money and very little opportunity at winning state championships because of classifications that constantly change, and an under-financed program that does not allow assistants to be paid unless the "head" coach gives them some of his salary.
We are very fortunate in Carroll County to have the high quality of coaches we have, from some of the most knowledgeable, loving men and women I have ever met. Why try to fix a program that is not broke? Why not improve what you already have?
Give more funds so a good staff can be properly rewarded. This will attract a higher quality of personnel and create a "trainer" atmosphere; hence a constant train of good coaches will evolve.
No one physical education teacher can coach two sports and have enough time to teach and fulfill family needs for very long, without disastrous effects on one or both ends.
Please remember that "different" does not mean "better."