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Teachers Aide’s and Coaching, Why They Aren’t Allowed to Coach

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Teachers Aide’s and Coaching, Why They Aren’t Allowed to Coach

Grant Gilbert and Joshua Hurlburt

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“I coach to make an impact on kids lives, not for paychecks,” says Kevin Sandstrom, a teacher’s aide, and coach. Kevin is the only teacher’s aide who is also a coach. Many teacher’s aides would like to have the opportunity to coach, but they can not. Susan Webster, a teacher’s aide, is no longer allowed to be a coach.

Why are full-time teacher aides unable to coach? The business manager at RHS, Marta Kwiatkowski, who has worked at RHS for 12 years, says why aides aren’t allowed to be coaches.

“Aides are not allowed to coach because they are hourly employees,” Kwiatkowski says. “We would have to pay them for overtime which is more expensive than the alternative.” She continued.“Teachers are salaried members, so they do not have to get paid for overtime.”

So is there a possibility that aides can become coaches if they are under the overtime pay limit?

“We look at each case on an individual basis. For aides who only teach 4 hours a day, there is a possibility they can coach” Kwiatkowski says. “However, if the teacher’s aide works 7 hours a day, then we would have to pay them overtime for coaching.”

Susan Webster, who has been at RHS around 10 years, works around that seven-hour mark as a teachers aide, can not coach for this reason. She has a background in coaching as she used to be the head track coach as well as the JV volleyball coach.

“Let’s say for example right now I work 35 hours a week, so I can do five hours of something in the school,” Susan said. “I can only do it for five hours after that they would have to pay me overtime.”  

Webster brought up an interesting point about the difference between coaching and reffing.

“but this is the thing, if I ref, let’s say, for example, I do line judging, that does not count. That’s an independent contractor.” Webster said.  “I think if they would explain it better. I don’t understand the difference between being an independent contractor for reffing and being a coach”

Kevin Sandstrom is a teacher’s aide at the middle school as well as the girl’s varsity hockey coach. Kevin has been coaching since 2013 and just started being a teacher’s aide last year in 2017. He also helps out at the after school program, Champs.

A typical week, Kevin works over 40 hours through his TA job, coaching position and help at the after-school program. “(The teacher’s aide position) is contracted through the High School… and the after-school program is contracted through Champs.” Kevin assures.

“Coaching is seasonal pay, regardless of hours… and is contracted through the school,” says Kevin. This is generally seen as the reason teacher’s aides are typically not allowed to be coaches. Because coaching is contracted through the school, combining the hours of being a teacher’s aide as well as a coach would likely mean the school would have to pay the employee overtime.

“We would have to find funding and likely take funding away from other important programs,” said Marta Kwiatkowski.

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