Teaching & Learning Resources Teaching & Learning Committee Archives
Teacher Talk 11/13/12: Coaching & Teaching
Following up on the 2012 Opening Workshop about student engagement outside of the classroom, Coaches Clyde Morgan (Head Track and Cross Country Coach), Roger Busch (Head Cross Country Coach/Assistant Track and Field Coach), and Cory Stevens (Head Baseball Coach) shared with faculty and staff how they create a good learning environment with their student athletes.
Coach Morgan emphasized the ways in which the athletic field is an extension of the classroom, sharing tips to maximize student engagement by motivating them to be fully present. Coach Busch emphasized the importance of helping students manage their time and focus on personal development. Coach Stevens described the importance of not just expecting leadership from students, but actively teaching it (baseball’s new Leadership Training Series includes informal discussion meetings and significant reading and writing). Hand-outs detailing these efforts and initiatives are attached below.
Following the coaches’ presentations, faculty and staff in the audience discussed ways to apply the coaches’ insights to the classroom. The following topics were raised:
- The differences between performance in sports (out in the open, often team-based) and performance in academics (more hidden or private, mostly individual). How can we—or should we?—make academic performance less hidden? Is competition a good model for encouraging academic motivation?
- Students and coaches share a level of intimacy than may go beyond the typical student/professor relationship. Students often reveal vulnerabilities to coaches that they might not feel comfortable expressing to a professor. How can we encourage an atmosphere of openness?
- On the athletic field, students can clearly see how they matter: their role on the team and importance to the team is clear. They can see their own value. However, in the classroom, students may not be aware of their importance to or role within the class and the class content.
Coaches urge students to keep striving, even when they are not playing well and even when they are in a slump. However, students who earn a failing grade or fall behind in class often shut down or give up. How can teachers motivate students past failure?
Handouts from Coaching and Teaching:
Summary of the September 21st Teacher Talk: Should We Assign Research Papers to Freshmen?
At the Opening Workshop in August (2011), Sandra Jamieson presented data from the Citation Project (http://citationproject.net/) showing that freshman were doing a poor job of engaging critically with sources in their research papers (samples of which were taken from writing courses at a variety of colleges, including Wabash).
In our September Teacher Talk, we returned to this question from a new direction, and posed the question: What is our purpose in assigning freshman research papers/projects?
And, secondly: How is that going for you?