P.E. coaches are starting their school years. If you are a coach, you have an obligation to protect your students just like any other student. What steps can you put in place to safeguard your students to their satisfaction?
Often, appropriate insurance can protect your liabilities within the classroom. Even so, you have the highest obligation to protect your students, first and foremost.
Get a Safety Plan Before Students Arrive
Teachers must have a lesson plan. PE coaches are just the same. The more planning you do ahead of time, the better you can keep your student protected. Because you’ll work with students in a physical capacity, you even face an enhanced need for this precaution. Start your safety plan before the new school year starts.
- When opening the gym, examine all the equipment. Test items like pull-up bars and balance beams for structural integrity. Make sure basketball hoops or climbing ropes don’t pose risks of collapse. Even test the air pressure in all your kickballs. Remove these items from use as damage occurs.
- Check the greater classroom for safety hazards. For example, look around showers for fall risks. Look for structural damage on bleachers. Even look for leaks near water fountains. Let your maintenance service know if any items need repairs. If necessary, place hazard warnings near areas of concern. Consider any safe areas as off-limits to students.
- Establish strict rules for student conduct. Prepare to reinforce these safety rules. If necessary, provide both written and oral reminders.
- Always have a current roster of your students, along with a list of any special physical needs. Do not let students undertake activity that might expose them to harm.
- Don’t stray from your lesson plans or curriculum guidelines. Only work with students on activities that are appropriate for their capabilities. Remember, all grade levels will likely have different success benchmarks.
- Keep first aid and emergency equipment on-hand. Restock your supply as necessary
These are a few recommendations for your students’ safety. Still, do not consider them substitutes to the safety protocol required by your school or district. Adhere to those rules first.
Understanding PE Coach Insurance Options
PE teachers often have coverage under their employer’s professional liability insurance. So, if you are responsible for accidental harm a student, this coverage can help pay for their losses. However, tread carefully. District policies may not cover the teacher’s liabilities in all cases. Therefore, many coaches get extra coverage through professional organizations or stand-alone policies.
To learn more about your employer's coverage, talk to your principal or supervisor. They can help you learn more about coverage available to you and extra requirements. If you need more protection, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bene-Marc, Inc. for coverage.
Also Read: Keeping Your Team Safe on the Road