Are you ready for some football? The “School of Thought” column at TIME is this Super Bowl week. A few weeks ago we had some debate here about what schools could learn from the NFL. So I decided to talk with an expert – Brendan Daly, defensive coach for the St. Louis Rams. By happy coincidence his brother is Tim Daly, president of The New Teacher Project. They’re both also former public school teachers. So it really doesn’t set up much better than that does it? Regular readers may recall the Daly brothers discussed a Malcolm Gladwell article here in 2008 when Brendan was coaching for the Vikings.
NFL analogies get tossed around all the time in the education world. And they get fumbled too. The most recent example: In December Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was talking about giving teachers feedback about their performance when she said, “Football teams do this all the time. They look at the tape after every game. Sometimes they do it during the game.” Not exactly. It’s against NFL rules to use video during a game. But Weingarten was onto something important: “They’re constantly deconstructing what is working and what isn’t working,” she said of pro teams. The heavy use of data and performance evaluations is indeed key to success in the NFL. But unfortunately, very few schools are good at this kind of thing.
For a deeper look at what educators might be able to learn from pro football, I talked with Tim Daly, a leading education reformer and president of the New Teacher Project, which trains teachers and conducts research and policy analysis, and his brother Brendan Daly, a former teacher who coaches the defensive line for the St. Louis Rams.
Read the entire interview here.
Also at TIME today on education a look at school lunch policy. Rev Foods Kristin/Kirsten duo were on the 11 for 11 list at TIME in January.
3 Replies to “The Daly Show!”
What can educators learn from pro football? Well, for one thing, if you can play pro football, education isn’t important.
It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a better evaluative tool to use for teachers. A good evaluator should always provide a positive aspect of performance along with what could have been done better. After all, we are not perfect people. As a former football coach, I agree with having a post game or post lesson review as a way to gain insights as to what could have been done differently. I believe it is essential as educators to constantly reflect on how well a student is learning, whether it is through self-reflection or an administrator providing the feedback. Moreover, I agree that the usual feedback I receive from administrators after a review is lacking. Usually there is no mention of what I could do better. Everything is on a point system with little to no comments made. Administrators are required to write a comment if a score of 2 or 4 out of 4 is given. Generally, neither is given because of the fact that administrators would be forced to make a comment. Shouldn’t every score require some sort of comment? How else am I to know from another perspective if I am doing something right or wrong? Let me be clear, I want to know if I am missing something in my instructional strategies. Like players of the NFL, how will I get better if someone doesn’t point those things out to me.