A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Coaching Teachers Bring Education to the Bleachers


Many of Greenway’s amazing teachers do more than just teach us math or science. There are several teachers here on campus that coach sports along with teaching our Demons throughout the day. This can make for a long day, but the benefits can be many for both the student-athlete and the teacher-coach.

Greenway’s swim coach and art teacher Ms. Benson said that she has always done both coaching and teaching for Greenway, but before she joined our faculty in 2002, she coached varsity swim and dive in Michigan when she was still in the process of earning her degree.

Benson said, “I think being both a coach and a teacher gives you a chance to relate to kids on a deeper level and I enjoy seeing my athletes in class.”  She added that “it’s hard to have a life during the season” because there’s not much free time.

Greenway’s badminton and girl’s P.E. coach Ms. McDonald said, “I have been involved in athletics my entire life! I love working with young adults and helping them enjoy all aspects of athletics as much as I have enjoyed them in my life. Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be a P.E. teacher. With coaching, it is more specific to that one sport, but seeing the kids improve and develop into great athletes is a special thing I get to see.”

She added that “the hardest part about it is the amount of time it takes.  I am away from home so much and miss my family.”

Ms. McDonald started out coaching volleyball and basketball here at Greenway, but she said that “when the badminton job became available, I decided to do that instead of volleyball, and in the winter I now officiate high school and college women’s basketball.”

Greenway’s boy’s golf coach and honors integrated science teacher Ms. Nelson said that she shares her love of golf with her students while earning a little extra money.

She said, “I coach because you get to interact with kids on a different level beyond the classroom.  I get to see them as a whole person, not just my student. I taught for a couple years before I started coaching, but I have coached and taught for the 5 years I have been at Greenway, and for 7 years at my previous school.”

She added that “the most difficult aspect of coaching while teaching is time management. It’s super demanding to keep the classroom running effectively while successfully meeting the needs of the players too.”