Tips to help you become the Greatest of All Teachers (aka GOAT) Lessons from 6 time Superbowl Champion Tom Brady

My husband and I are San Francisco 49ers fans, so we secretly hoped that both the Rams and Patriots would lose the Superbowl this year.

Even though we weren’t cheering for Tom Brady, even we had to admit that Tom Brady’s skill and long, successful career is quite admirable.

This got me thinking.

What makes Tom Brady so successful?

And what advice could I glean from him and apply to my teaching practice?

After some research and thoughtful consideration, here are some tips to help you become the GOAT (Greatest of All Teachers).

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Healthy Competition

Fun Fact

Tom Brady is super competitive. But not just in football. One of his teammates said in an interview that Brady had broken table tennis paddles after losing games.

How does this relate to teaching?

In my class, I encourage my students to set goals. I teach them to compete against themselves as they strive to reach those goals.

You got 10 correct on this test? Try to get 11 on the next.

You read 35 words in a minute today today? Try to read 38 the next time I test you.

The same is true for you as the teacher. You can set goals and challenge yourself to beat them.

It took me 45 minutes to grade those tests. Can I do the next batch in 40?

The kids really loved that art project. Maybe I should prioritize submitting work for the next art contest.


Fun Fact

Tom Brady is absurdly confident. When he was drafted by the Patriots, he basically told them that hiring him was the best decision they’d ever made. Imagine that! (Well, I guess you could argue that he was right.)

How does this relate to teaching?

Ever hear that saying, kids can smell fear? Well, it’s true. This one ties in so well with my other post How to Rock at Classroom Management – 10 tips you can start using TODAY.

Your confidence, or lack thereof, will quickly tell your students whether or not they can trust you, respect you, or walk all over you. This doesn’t mean you have to know all the answers or that you should fake being professional.

However, having confidence means not second guessing your decisions in front of your students. It means owning up to mistakes and fixing them. It means admitting your challenges but still facing them head on.

Your students will see the confidence you have and want that for themselves.

Teacher Classroom Management Tips

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Fun Fact

Brady works hard outside of football to always be in tip top shape. He goes to bed at 8:30pm (earlier than some of my students!). He does brain exercises. He follows a ridiculously strict diet (no white sugar, white flour, or iodized salt). The purpose of all of this is to help him perform at such a high level.

How does this relate to teaching?

In my blog post Why I hate teaching (sometimes) – 5 reasons why teaching may not be for you, I mentioned that the overall stress of the job causes many teachers to burn out or leave the profession.

As a teacher, you are constantly pouring yourself into the lives of others. This is what makes self-care so important.

You know how during an airplane safety briefing they always talk about oxygen masks? In the event of an emergency, you are instructed to put on your masks first before assisting other passengers.

A tired, stressed, constantly-getting-sick teacher doesn’t have the capacity to properly care for their students.

Self-care could be as simple as going home at a decent hour, eating an uninterrupted meal with your family, or going for a jog.

Why I hate teaching (sometimes) -5 reasons why teaching may not be for you

Constructive Criticism

Fun Fact

Coach Bill Belichick treats his All Star the same way he treats all his other players when it comes to criticism. But not only that, Brady readily accepts that feedback and any criticism from the media and uses it to improve.

How does this relate to teaching?

In my very first blog post Why teaching? – 5 Reasons why I love being a teacher, I mentioned that in teaching, you always have the opportunity to refine your craft.

Looking back on my own career, I can see how much I’ve grown as a teacher over the last 7 years. I am so grateful that I’ve reached the point in my career where I not only accept but seek out feedback to make my teaching better. I have wonderful colleagues who I trust and value their opinions and advice. Challenging myself to take action based on their feedback has helped me to hone my skills and see new areas of growth.


Fun Fact

Tom Brady is surprisingly personable with his teammates. Multiple Patriots recall joining the team and being warmly greeted by Brady who had taken the time to learn their names.

How does this relate to teaching?

Teaching is a social career. Your not hidden in an office behind a closed door. Taking the time to get to know your students, their families, and your colleagues will reap so many benefits for you.

I think you’d agree that you work harder for those you love.

Putting in the effort to build healthy relationships with your students will result in an overall happier class who’ll go the extra mile for you.

Calm Under Pressure

Fun Fact

Tom Brady is able to remain remarkably calm under pressure. Throughout his career, he has engineered 35 4th-quarter comebacks. In this respect, he is second only to Peyton Manning.

How does this relate to teaching?

Teaching is a high-stress job. You may not realize it, but as a teacher, you have to make hundreds of decisions in the blink of an eye. These decisions range from what color to write with to how to respond to a students snide remark. Losing your cool doesn’t benefit you or your students. You have to be able to channel that energy and work efficiently under the everyday pressures of the job.

  • You don’t have to like Tom Brady to admit that he has had an impressive career .
  • But I hope that you are able to use these tips to help you in your journey to become the Greatest of All Teachers (aka GOAT)!
  • If you have any other tips you’d like to add, leave it in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog 🙂

Words to Live By 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

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