This article explores whether teachers should be required to attend sporting events as part of their job requirements.
Duties of a Teacher?
There is nothing like being told that you, a teacher, have to attend two home games in each sport each year that you are employed by the school district. First of all, such sporting events are athletic events and not academic in nature.
Duties of a Teacher: Mandatory Attendance
I strongly feel that teachers should support their students in the classroom and on the field, but teachers should not be assigned yet another duty. I can often be seen in the stands of a variety of sports. I attend such events when my schedule allows. Some teachers, however, find it difficult to go out during the week. Some teachers work a second or a third job to make ends meet. Some teachers have a part-time job working at a retail store at night while others work from home, writing for online ventures.
Duties of a Teacher: What about Academic Teams and Competitions?
What about quiz bowl teams or mock trial teams? No one, besides maybe three or four parents are present at such competitions. If schools are going to have a policy that teachers must attend sporting events, then there needs to be a similar policy that states that teachers must also attend academic competitions.
As you see, this policy is never going to work as it singles out athletics, which is not the heart of a school or should not be the heart of the school. As a teacher, I want the school’s athletic program to do well and to be a state contender in each sport, but truly, academics come first.
Another Problem: Enforcement
Another problem with this policy is enforcement. How are administrators going to enforce this policy and make sure that faculty attend such sporting events? Is there going to be a faculty section in the stands at sporting events? There really is no way to enforce the attendance. In addition, unless it is specifically stated in the teacher's contract, there is no legal justification for enforcement.