Living a Double Life

Senators Coach Gives an Insight on Working Elementary and High School Jobs
In his first year of coaching, alumnus Thomas Lee Bowden serves as an assistant to the varsity football team.
In his first year of coaching, alumnus Thomas Lee Bowden serves as an assistant to the varsity football team.
Photo Credit: Scott Lowe

He is a special education side at Legacy Elementary School and a Senators football coach.

His parents, both of whom worked in the Madison County School System, inspired Thomas Bowden to become a teacher. Though he is currently employed as a special education Aide, he is pursuing a degree in SPED and expects to graduate in the summer.

“I wanted to get a first hand experience of how SPED worked in the classroom which I feel will help me in the future. My motivation is knowing I have a chance to make a difference,” Bowden said. “I am actually specializing in special education with a K-12 certification. Mrs. Rogers was kind enough to hire me onto the team. It is such an amazing experience being back where I started with the most amazing team of educators. I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.” 

Bowden is a Senator alumnus and is now working for his old position coach, now head coach Ronnie Watson.

“I played football all my life. It is one of my favorite memories where I played for and met some of the best people I know,” Bowden said. “He coached me up most of my high school career. He recently took a well deserved head coaching job at Sparkman. He called me and asked me to coach.”

As an elementary teacher, the emphasis is on academic subjects such as math, reading and science, while as a football coach, the focus is on physical fitness, teamwork and sportsmanship.

“The kids are a big difference. The way you approach and interact with a high school kid on the football field is totally different then how you would with an elementary kid,” Bowden said. “The way you present information is also a key difference. With younger children, we have to teach in smaller sessions, with information going in little depth, while with high school kids, we can present more in-depth information.”

Despite the age and learning differences between an elementary and high school student, they both have the desire to win, whether in school or in sports.

 “That hunger to win, translates from the field to the classroom, just in a different way. ‘Winning’ in the classroom would translate to making good grades, doing their best to reach the goal they set for themselves,” Bowden said.

Bowden says that his daily goal is to succeed not only as a coach but also as an educator.

“In both ways, there is one main goal as an educator/coach I strive for daily. That is to make these kids productive members of society, while also teaching them valuable life skills and helping them be the best they can be, in the classroom and on and off the field,” Bowden said. “Seeing these kids succeed in their journey is the biggest thing that keeps me going. I love the challenge of teaching these kids valuable life lessons while also creating a fun and safe environment.”

Bowden’s overall goal, whether on or off the field, is to make a difference.

“If I don’t do anything else, I strive to make a difference in at least one kid’s life. To make them a better human, a better man, a better father, a better friend. We are here to make a difference and I think I can do that on and off the field,” Bowden said.

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