Winning isn't everything

December 1, 2015 Gaylene Schreiber, ATA Secretary to Professional Conduct Committees

Pitfalls and Precautions

“Pitfalls and Precautions” is a series that aims to educate teachers on professional conduct issues by highlighting situations addressed by the ATA Professional Conduct Committee. The committee dealt with the following case during the 2014/15 school year. Three previous issues of the
ATA News contained earlier instalments.

Teachers engaged in extra and co-curricular activities must behave professionally in their engagement with students, parents, administrators and sport organizers.

A teacher involved in coaching enlisted students from another school to compete on his school team in a sports tournament. The tournament rules did not allow this. The teacher lied to school administrators, the students and their parents about the students’ eligibility, an action that subsequently caused the ineligible students to be suspended from tournament play on their own school team.

The suspension was appealed, and as the students had no knowledge that they were ineligible, the decision was reversed, but not before it contributed to significant stress for the students. The coach, on the other hand, acted with full knowledge of the rules.

Through his actions, this coach acted in a manner that did not uphold the honour and dignity of the profession. He also acted in a manner detrimental to the best interests of the students. The professional conduct committee noted, “(The coach’s) actions augmented his team’s capacity to win and therefore he cheated. By cheating, he failed to maintain the honour and dignity of the profession.”

The committee ordered a letter of reprimand to address the actions. The committee heard that the teacher is restricted from school coaching activities unless he takes remedial professional development to educate and improve his coaching practice. ❚

Read more Pitfalls and Precautions articles here.

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