- Roy Kent is the unlikely Teacher of the Year on the Apple TV+ show, Ted Lasso.
- Continue to learn.
- Say no.
- Ask for help.
- Coach others.
Roy Kent is the Unlikely Teacher of the Year on Ted Lasso
Like many people these last couple of years, I have come to enjoy a little Apple TV+ show called Ted Lasso. The show took the Emmys by storm and is all over social media. The main character, Ted Lasso, is very positive and nothing seems to bother him.
For those who haven’t seen it, Ted is an American football coach sent to England to coach a Premier Football League team (that’s soccer in the States). He makes those great sports speeches where one is told to “be the ball” or the sign in the locker room: “believe.” However, with 2021 over and a new year beginning, I am not feeling the “Believe,” but another Emmy-winning Ted Lasso lingers: What can we learn from Roy Kent?
What can we learn from Roy Kent?
If you are unfamiliar with the show, Roy is a potty-mouth footballer. Raised by his grandfather, his talent was recognized at an early age and as we enter this world, Roy is not as good as he used to be, being crowded out by younger, more talented players. Roy is hard to enjoy. Much like an experienced teacher at the beginning of the year, Brett Goldstein, the actor and writer that created the character said, “He doesn’t smile” and he is cold to those who obviously care about him, but he grows on you in a way fan-favorites and great teachers do.
In the second season (don’t get mad, it’s been out since August!), Roy undergoes a transformation. He is dating Keely, a bubbly former model who is handling the team’s PR. Ted has retired with a knee injury and is spending more time with his young niece as well as beginning a career as an oddball commentator. Through this season Roy learns the lessons that teachers learn every day.Teachers need to set boundaries. Even if we do eventually say yes, saying no to start then taking the time to think won’t make you a bad person, but a teacher who knows what they need. Click To Tweet
Roy is still learning.
In the first season, Roy, the experienced player, was still learning every game. He even takes notes from the boot boy, Nate. He tries every single game.
Most teachers spend their time as lifelong learners. Often later in your career, it is important to seek out advice and professional development from those newer to the field or who have a special talent. Some of us send out surveys asking for input from parents and students. While we work tirelessly to get better, it is important to get advice and guidance from all directions.
Roy says no.
It is the one thing Roy does most often. He says no to retiring, no to commentating, no to coaching. All of these things Roy does eventually, but instead of being agreeable, he understands where his boundaries are and what he doesn’t want.
So much of 2021 was about self-care. Teachers need to set boundaries. Even if we do eventually say yes, saying no to start then taking the time to think won’t make you a bad person, but a teacher who knows what they need. I have done so many things this last year that I never thought I would do. In a lot of ways, fear drives these decisions and Roy is good at figuring out what he is afraid of.[scroll down to keep reading]
Roy is not afraid to ask for help for those he cares about.
In season two, his niece, Phoebe, is experiencing a medical mystery. He takes to the streets and knocks on doors to find someone on Christmas who can help her. They find a doctor on Christmas, and Phoebe gets her medical problem solved.
Teachers work tirelessly when they have a student in need. I have seen teachers read medical papers to determine what may be going on with a student. We love our students and go to great lengths to help them and ensure their learning. Teachers have also taken to the internet by increasing their online presence and expanding their PLC.
Roy is a great coach.
We see Roy as a true coach when he is called upon to coach Isaac, the captain who has a case of the yips. Roy tells Isaac to remember it’s a kid’s game. Roy then realizes that coaching is what he is meant to do. There is even an arch where Jamie Tart, Kent’s former nemesis, begs for tips to make himself better. Roy Kent is probably a better coach than Ted Lasso.
Roy has a great combination of knowing his content, great relationships with the players, and a feeling of satisfaction with his career choice. Great teachers do this every day!
Finding that balance isn’t always easy. But when you are going back into your buildings in 2022, you can “be the goldfish,” or you can remember at the heart of it you get to learn with kids. Rather than forget, I want to see the wonder and delight and have a fun time playing learning games!
About Meghan Wells
Meghan Wells is a high school teacher in the DFW area. After spending almost a decade in retail management and the financial services industry, Meghan has enjoyed education for the last 14 years putting a tech spin on all secondary levels of Language Arts.
Inspired by her 10 year old son, she has coached First Lego League, high school Esports, and continues to cultivate the (non ELA) interests of her young engineer. When she is not geeking out on edu or ed tech, you can find her reading a book, watching hours of home improvement shows, listening to true crime podcasts, or what she likes to call “serial crafting”.