Let’s Talk About Jim Boeheim.

First, watch this.

I didn’t watch yesterday’s Duke-Syracuse game, but was on Twitter when suddenly my feed was throttled with “Boeheim ejected” tweets. Now, I’ve been watching college basketball for as long as I can remember (actually, I started in 8th grade), and Boeheim is a coach that I’ve grown to respect and admire. So I knew something bad had to happen for him to get tossed.
I’m not here to argue about whether it was a charge or a block, but to explain how much I empathize with Boeheim.
He’s a coach. And granted, he makes scads more money than I do, but I have to believe that at least part of why he stays in coaching is because of the kids he gets to coach. Those damn kids have a way of making you hope in eternal possibilities–maybe this next class will do something greater, even though the current class is pretty good.  
So when I saw the video of Boeheim’s ejection, my first thought wasn’t about the charge or block debate (I’ve watched enough West Coast Conference Circus School of Refereeing this year to know it’s a losing battle), but I saw a coach fighting for his kids. His kids who were, until yesterday, undefeated. His kids who played a close game against a talented Duke team. His kids, who I sure hope, he cares about, even just a little. It’s his job to fight for his kids.
Just like it’s my job to fight for mine. 
I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to tear off my proverbial jacket, storm the court, and scream at administrators about the inane policies they are allowing my kids to be subjected to. Or how often I’ve wanted to rail against politicians and businessmen who think they know jack about what it’s like to be a teacher.
No, I watched that video and thought that maybe part of the problem in education is that all of us really good teachers, nationwide, have somehow convinced ourselves that we can’t change anything. We don’t get angry enough. And it’s understandable…just like the ref that tossed Boeheim, we have administrators who overrule our recommendations for kids and make us do things we never would agree to if we were running our own schools. 
So in the interest of job security, we continue on and complain to each other and maybe write a letter to our state and national legislators, but at the end of the day, you find us in the classroom, waiting for our kids. Boeheim didn’t leave Cameron Indoor on Saturday. He waited in the locker room for his kids. He went to a press conference and answered questions in an honest and forthright manner (and actually said the officiating wasn’t all that bad–just that last call that sealed the win for Duke). 
And when he goes to the ACC tourney and the NCAA tourney, there will still be calls that anger him, and he’ll probably rein in his reaction. But I doubt he’ll stop fighting for his kids.

I need to fight a little more for my kids, I think. I just don’t know how.

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