For some reason Social Studies departments tend to employ a lot of coaches. I like coaches. Most of them are dedicated and talented teachers who discovered that it's hard to find a teaching job without coaching something, so they took up a sport in order to make themselves more employable. They are fun to work with. They have a lot of personality. They have insane schedules, so they know how to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. They relate with the kids really well, they don't take themselves too seriously, and are in general some of the most supportive and helpful colleagues I have.
Some coaches are stupid. These are the ones that got a degree in education so that they could find a coaching job. They aren't really great at teaching, and they aren't good at coaching, but they are excellent at giving the whole profession a bad name.
I have a student who is failing my AP class. The conversation I had with him last week is a perfect example of the bad influence of an incompetent coach.
Me: You're missing several assignments in this class. You're going to need to turn them in soon, or you won't be able to pass.
Student: I know Miss.
Me: Do you have the list of make up work I gave you?
Me: Do you need help with any of the assignments?
Me: OK. Semester grades are due on Thursday. I need your stuff turned in before then
Student: It's OK miss...Coach told me I'm eligible to play.
Me: (confused by the abrupt change in subject) What?
Student: Yeah. I didn't do too well in History last year so coach told me I should take AP this year. That way if I fail I'm still eligible to play.
Me: You might be eligible to play, but if you fail you still don't get credit. If you fail history you'll be a Junior again next year.
Student: Oh. Coach didn't tell me that...