Tag Archives: Resource

Things ESPN Has Taught Me about Teaching and Coaching: Dean Smith Edition

While I am not a sports fanatic by any stretch of the imagination, ESPN seems to find its way onto our television quite regularly.  Okay, daily. Increasingly, I have found myself overhearing little tid bits of news or commentary that I find incredibly relevant to my classroom.  Many of you likely know by now that UNC’s storied coach Dean Smith passed away this weekend, and Sunday evening I cooked dinner to the tune of a great Smith tribute.  As I cooked, I found myself pausing more than once to jot down a quick note that related to my work as English teacher and lacrosse coach. So, here we go.  Things ESPN taught me about teaching and coaching this weekend.

Lessons from Dean Smith (Really, I can’t come close to doing the man justice, but here are the items I am bringing up with my students and players this week):

  • He helped to integrate a restaurant and neighborhood in Chapel Hill.
  • He took players to a prison each year to scrimmage for the inmates and to illustrate for his players that the world was bigger than the one they normally occupied and the importance of valuing all humans.
  • When coaching Michael Jordan, he told him that if he didn’t pass, he wouldn’t play because teamwork is The Carolina Way.
  • More than 95% of his players earned their degrees.
  • Even the legendary Coach Wooden said of Smith that he was the best basketball teacher he had ever seen.
  • A nice tribute online: Grantland

Education Applications: Any discussions about social justice, the civil rights movement, or teamwork can benefit from the good Coach’s legacy.

I would highly recommend you check out the short (three-four minute) video clip from ESPN here:  “Dean Smith: Lasting Impact On, Off Court”.

(ESPN provides an embed code for the video, but I can’t seem to get it to work with WordPress.  If you have advice on how to embed the video into the post, I’d be happy to hear it!)


New Web Resources Page

Even before starting this blog, I was frequently looking for ways to make homes for my students and my practice on the web.  In the process, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve been able to carve out some small spaces of cyberspace that I’ve found helpful in my teaching.

At the top of this page, you will notice the addition of a new page titled “Web Resources.”  It is here that I have built a collection of the tiny footprints I have left on the web in the name of teaching in case any of it is of any interest or assistance to you.  Take a look around, use what you, find helpful, and leave me a comment if you have any questions or thoughts about any of it.  As I continue my endeavors into the enormity of the internet, I will continue to add to this little repository.

Again, you can always find the link in the menu bar above, or you can simply click here.

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