We are excited to announce our partnership with Austin ISD to implement a new volunteer management platform at austinisd.voly.org. Please note that the current APIE portal will no longer be accepting applications as of June 26.

Too Cool for Coach

Finally, my first day of school for this year’s Classroom Coaching commitment. I’m assigned to three girls, Alise, Anna and Katrina (not their real names). Anna and Katrina were my students last year too, so I’ve been looking forward to reconnecting with them. To tell the truth, I may have gone overboard with anticipation in the past few weeks. Last May as we approached the end of the school year, I was tearful every time I thought of saying good-bye. I’d really formed a tight bond with these girls. I wrote them a poem about our year of reading and learning together, but was too choked up to read it to them. I just pushed it into their hands and wished them a great summer.


Photo courtesy of Three Musketeers Movie Trailer

When I learned that we would coach in seventh grade this year and that I would get to work with “my girls” again I was overjoyed. I started mentally rehearsing our reunion; we’d up where we left off, old friends who’d been away for the summer. We’d talk about our adventures since we’d last seen each other. They’d fill me in on the wonders and challenges of seventh grade. And we three musketeers would welcome Alise into our tight circle of friends. And most important, we’d embark on another year of exploring poetry and fiction, history and science together.

I was near tears as we approached the classroom. It was chaotic when we came through the door; the coaches slid through the maze of desks and tables to settle with their teams. I approached my group, ready to receive their delighted smiles when they recognized it was me. I introduced myself to Alise and turned to Anna and Katrina. They seemed unaffected by my arrival.

“Hey guys, I’ve missed you. How was your summer?” I asked.

“OK,” replied Anna. Katrina shrugged her shoulders.

“Tell me something exciting you did this summer,” I coaxed.

“I got my fifth dog,” offered Alise.

“Oh, fun,” I said. “Is it a puppy?”

Alise lit up as she told me about her menagerie.

“Anna, how about you? What fun things did you do this summer?”


“Really? Not one fun thing happened all summer?”

She shrugged and looked away.

I leaned in towards Katrina, who loves to be in the center of things. She was sure to entertain me.

“Nah, it was boring,” she said.

Then I got it. These were seventh graders now. Too cool for coach. I shifted gears and we started the lesson on analyzing poetry. Alise played along, but Anna and Katrina seemed distracted, more interested in the rest of the room than our little team. Perhaps I’ll be competing with the lure of boys in the room this year. Finally, when I felt certain I could keep their attention no longer, the bell rang. Chairs shuffled, students dashed for the door. Katrina paused and turned back to me. She gave me a high five and smiled.

“See you next week,” I said, smooth as glass.

Pat Abrams, Executive Director

Website Holiday Message - 400 x 700 px

Austin Partners in Education will be closed beginning Friday, December 22 and ending Friday, January 5. We will return to normal business hours on Monday, January 8. All emails, phone calls, and volunteer background check applications will be completed upon our return. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Happy Holidays!

Austin Partners in Education cerrará comenzando el viernes 22 de diciembre y hasta el viernes 5 de enero. Volveremos al horario comercial normal el lunes 8 de enero. Todos los correos electrónicos, llamadas telefónicas y solicitudes de verificación de antecedentes de voluntarios se completarán a nuestro regreso. Gracias por su paciencia y comprensión. ¡Felices Fiestas!

Volunteer registration is closed for most AISD campuses until next school year. Registration will remain open for schools that are seeking volunteers for summer programming.

If you’d like to be notified when registration for APIE’s Mentoring and Math Classroom Coaching programs are open for 2024-2025, sign up to be on our early notification email list!