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Academic Coaches

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:45 pm

Here at Coronado High School, coaching isn’t just for sports: it is also an academic elective offered to students as an alternative to being a teacher’s aide (TA). Being an academic coach allows high-achieving students to use a period of their day to tutor their peers in courses the coaches have previously excelled in.

Being an academic coach requires hard work and prior knowledge about the subjects in question. Some coaches spend their time in math, science or history classes, but Junior Taylor Washabaugh is a tutor for Mrs. Hill’s Success Skills class. “The students in the class do their homework from various classes and I help them. I never know who needs help with what, so I have to be knowledgeable in many subjects,” Washabaugh said.

Though this class entails plenty of work, it has its perks. The coaches are able to share in their students’ successes and Washabaugh cites her favorite part of being an academic coach as the moments when concepts finally click with her students. The help that these academic coaches give their students is priceless and can save the students money that would otherwise be spent on a professional tutor. Academic coaching also benefits the coaches: they are able to use this course to review the foundational lessons that show up in their own classes and receive community service hours that can help them when applying to colleges. Many coaches have selected this elective, instead of being a TA, because they are given a GPA-boosting letter grade as opposed to getting a pass/fail on their transcripts.

Having academic coaches around is helpful to teachers because it provides them with an assistant instructor. Math teacher James Farrar has an academic coach for the second year in his geometry class. Farrar said, “I have my academic coach co-instruct. He is helping students in the way I want him to help.” Farrar’s coach was in his geometry class last year and has now opted to help other students with this course. Farrar is grateful that the school has this program and finds that it can be helpful, especially if the coach has been his student in the past. Farrar said, “I had [my current academic coach] in geometry and that is the only reason it is working out this year. I had a coach last year who wasn’t my student, and we didn’t work together nearly as well as this coach and I do now.”

Academic coaching requires hardworking and motivated students who want to help others. “I chose this class because I wanted to be helpful and it sounded interesting. I would recommend taking this class,” said Washabaugh. At this point in the year, many students at CHS are scrambling to fill their schedules with classes for the upcoming year. This course is a great option to fit into any schedule.

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