There is one thing that has not always been logical for my job. I chose to be a history teacher because of my love for history and what it can teach and where it can take you. It is the study of every subject since the dawn of time. When people complain about history I feel sorry for them because what is normally the case is that they never had a teacher worth a damn. They normally sat in class and did worksheets while their teacher sat behind a desk and never really interacted with them or the wonderful lecturer all the time type teacher where you listen and they talk for 50 minutes and you write notes and normally try to either bang your head till you are unconscious or stab yourself to have a homemade lobotomy. If these apply to you, you have my condolences. I got into my craft because I enjoyed history and thought it would be fun to give that joy back to others. The thing that I did not count on was coaching.
Let me start by saying that coaching is a very valid reason to get into education. You reached children on a daily basis that may not be reached in the classroom. That aspect of coaching I have always been a big fan of and respect those that can do it their entire career. It was never my intention to coach when I got into education. Now I understand the reason that most coaches are history teachers, history is an easy subject to take in college and to teach. You can show many a video to compensate for not wanting to give lectures, you can make the students do worksheets most of the time to have them covering the material, and you can on average not work too hard and get many things done in your class. It never occurred to me to be that type of teacher. I always wanted to teach, coaching was something that I was told came with my position once I was hired.
I have been very fortunate in my career and got the option of coaching my 1st 5 years, but now that I have children I am confused as to why people still want to continue coaching. Not one coach will say it is for the pay because coaches get a stipend and that correlates to actually hours vs. money in about the rate of $1/hour. Now please tell me anyone that would take a job for $1/hour? Anyone, anyone? Now I understand that most coaches do it for the love of sport and would do it for free and I commend those people. They are better humans than me. When I met my wife we decided to have children and that was our 1st priority. We would put almost everything else 2nd to raising our children in a loving and caring home.
Here is the thing that I have observed with the coaches that I have been associated with over the years in many states in many schools over the last decade of my life. They spend a lot of time away from home. The normal coach’s day last 12-14 hours and that is just on practice days, game nights can last from 16- 18 hours. I know many professions where you work a 12 hour shift get a day off, work 2 more 12 hour shifts and then get 2-3 days off. Education and coaching do not work that way. You work M-F, 12-18 hour days and then sometimes have to come in on the weekends for either watching film or traveling to a tournament or even practicing with your players. Next, some coaches never want to go home to their spouses or kids. In my experience as a coach, some people just do not want to be at their house. They actually sit around with a bunch of other coaches and talk about very little. It seems that they are avoiding going home. Now this could be because they do not like their home lives or they are not truly happy with their spouses. I cannot answer for all of them, but I can tell you that I would be asked to be at the school at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning and they would sit around for 45 minutes to an hour just talking about NOTHING! Now as someone who actually likes being at home with my family this sucks. If you want me there let’s work, I do not care about you or want to discuss sports when I am there on a Saturday morning. I want to get my work done because that $1/hour is not worth me being away from my family. I have two young boys at home and another child on the way and it is my responsibility to raise them WITH my wife, not for her to raise them and me see them only six months out of the year. More power to the coaches that their spouse is okay with them being away all that time. They have a very strong relationship and I am proud of them for having such a strong bond. But, I also know that coaching also carries a high divorce rate. This mainly being because some spouses do not understand the amount of time their significant other will be away from the home.
This is my dilemma, education is the career I have chosen and have vested 10 years of my life, but now I want my wife to be at home with our 3 children and my avenues have narrowed. Being unhappy in a job is something that I am expert on since day one. There has never been a job or career that I woke up every morning and was excited about doing, except one. When I was an administrator for a small part of my career I enjoyed the challenge of not knowing what was going to happen that day. Yet, in the great state of Alabama I have been stopped from pursuing that aspect of my career because of my decision to obtain a degree in another state. If you think I am bitter about this you have no idea, but I must move on. The real problem becomes that my options have become so limited. Getting my wife home I need to make at least as much as I make now in my career. Moving to another career will most likely put my pay lower and then I will have to work my way up. I cannot stand being a middle school teacher because it is just not my cup of tea. Lastly, getting a high school job requires me to most likely coach and that means more time away from my wife and children. It seems that I have put myself in a very difficult situation. It is all of my doing, so I am not asking for sympathy. Rather, I am just expressing thoughts on a forum for others to look inside my thought process. The coaching thing gets me every time. Moving to high school where I will ultimately be happier causes me to spend an even larger amount of time away from my family. Now the advantage will be that Em, my wonderful wife, will be at home finally. The down side is that seeing my kids grow up will not be in my future. It is a dilemma that I hope most will never encounter.
As a society here in America, it has become difficult to be a single income family. The cost of providing for your family is too high. It can be done, but with the cost of groceries and inflation increasing at a much higher rate than pay for careers we are creating a very big problem in America. The main issue in schools is that parents do not spend much time with their children educating or helping them. There are many reasons for this, but top on the list is someone working all day does not want to come home and then deal with all there is to do to maintain a household. I completely understand that. But having children you made a choice to bring a life into this world and it is only your responsibility, you cannot pawn it off on someone else. We have more and more two income homes and less time for family. I am certain there is a correlation between this and the downfall of our education system. Most parents do not have the time or are unwilling to put the time necessary to raise a well educated child. This also stems from many adults that are uneducated themselves. When I say uneducated I do not mean just having degrees, it is meant in a way that people instill work ethics in their children and put effort into their children so they may have a better life than the one they have made for themselves. We are lacking this in our country and I am scared that my kids may have to suffer; I have to coach because it comes with my title of Social Studies teacher and ultimately spend more time with children that are not mine.