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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Science teacher doubles as swim coach

For most teachers, teaching a full load of class is extremely tiring. Science teacher Kristen Thomson willingly adds to her burden by also taking on the role of swimming coach each spring.
Thomson has been coaching swimming for 13 years and continues to love the sport, but says that it is difficult to balance the two jobs.
“It’s a challenge as far as time commitment is concerned. My students all know that I don’t have as much time after school to be available for them and it is tougher to prep and correct tests as quickly as I could when I don’t coach,” said Thomson.
While Thomson is notorious for her challenging workouts, her swimmers still view her in a positive light.
Junior Rohan Jhalani has been swimming with Thomson as a coach since freshman year and said that he has established a good relationship with her.
“As a coach she is very kind and determined to make whoever she coaches a better swimmer,” said Jhalani. “Over the last two years we have created a friendship because of how open she is to talking to you about anything you need to.”
Thomson said that the main similarities between coaching and teaching have to do with the students and how they get better throughout the year. 
“Both deal with helping students improve and stand out as individuals. Both form great connections with students and both let me combine my interests with work,” Thomson said. 
Additionally, Thomson thinks that in a way being a coach is also beneficial to teaching. 
“I think it’s helpful that kids know me as a teacher and as a coach,” said Thomson. “It’s nice to know there’s a connection between teaching and coaching and it has been helpful if I need to contact a swimmer. I also think students like it because it is easier for them to communicate with me throughout the day.” 
In terms of balancing teaching and coaching, Thomson said that it is especially difficult due to her third job as a mother to children at home.
“It is tough, especially right now with two small kids at home,” said Thomson.
Still, she finds herself agreeing to coach each spring, saying,"I love the sport and I love the kids." 
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