In my opinion, good teachers have the ability to influence kids in a way no one else can. They have a different impact than parents, siblings or friends, and can spark intellectual curiosity to an extent that in some ways cannot be matched outside of their “classroom” setting. I have always been truly inspired by good teachers. I can list the names of a few of mine over the course of my 16 years of schooling that I know I will never forget.
This is one of the reasons I am so proud of my very good friend, Broderick Turner. Broderick, (who used to introduce himself in business meetings to Senior Vice Presidents as “Broderick, like Mathew Broderick… only black”) is a math teacher at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and has found a way of connecting with his students unlike any other teacher I have seen. This type of stuff makes me strive to want to be more like him as a teacher and a coach. I’m really proud of him and what he’s doing.
Some of you may be wondering: “How does any of this even remotely relate to CrossFit?”
First of all, to me, being a CrossFit Coach is much more than just helping people learn about how to do a squat. It’s about explaining the “WHY’s” to your athletes, showing people the benefits of efficient movement not only in the gym, but outside as well, and then sitting back and marveling as you see their lives change for the better through the knowledge you’ve helped them learn. We are more than just “trainers”. Each one of us has the title, each one of us should have the skills, but most importantly, each one of us absolutely has the obligation and responsibility to be teachers in our gyms.
Here’s a video of how Broderick took a potentially boring task (teaching the Quadratic Formula to his 9th and 10th graders), and related it to his students. He didn’t sacrifice the integrity of the subject matter, he didn’t settle for below “standard”, but he did break the subject matter down in a way that probably got the attention of his kids a lot more than standing at a chalk board and preaching in a monotone voice.
Mr. Turner, great job on keeping your teaching “Constantly Varied” and very “Functional”!! There are a lot of CrossFitters out there who will appreciate your efforts and creativity, and I can only hope that more teachers out there take this kind of pride and passion in their work. With that, our educational system is going to grow and change in ways that are nothing but positive!
*****The video had an error while he uploaded it onto YouTube! When we get a complete version, I’ll post it on here. But this will still give you an idea of what he’s doing!*****