Joshua Cole: teacher, coach, and mentor


Photo by Manasi Tripathi

Joshua Cole plans his day from his desk.

Manasi Tripathi, Staff Writer

It is a new academic year and there are new staff additions to our school, one of which is Joshua Cole, a math teacher and also a basketball coach. This is his 10th year coaching and fourth year teaching. He is very passionate about his career choice, such as being a coach and a teacher.

He was born and raised in Arizona. Cole has been married for nine years and has a daughter who is five-months-old. He tries his best to spend time with his family, as well as coaching and teaching in a high school. Just like himself, his brother is a basketball coach and a teacher at Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona. Cole has been on a team since he was five years old and always liked to be surrounded by a group of people.

“I am enjoying myself coming back [to high school] right now, and the chance to be in the classroom and still [be a] coach,” Cole said.

Being new at OHS has its own challenges, especially with everything that is going on, but his love for teaching has made him comfortable at school and able to adapt to the new environment. He likes to interact with his students through his methods, whether it is math or basketball.

“I am excited for the change to come back to high school, I have been at a high school for five years, to come back is beneath and cool and I enjoy the district and the teacher community,” Cole said.

Cole started teaching a few years before the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing the changes and working diligently has helped him get better with his skills. Cole’s fourth year as a teacher and first year at O’Connor, but most importantly, this is his tenth year coaching. He loves the fact that he teaches teens, and brings a smile to their faces while he teaches. Whether it is a school subject or sport, the passion for teaching youth and seeing them learn is his goal in life.

“I really do enjoy math, but I know that there are students that don’t love math. I enjoy watching youth learn, I enjoy youth and building a relationship with them,” Cole said. “I enjoy laughing and joking with them, making them smile and just using math as an outlet to teach life lessons.”

His management techniques have made him catch up and stay up to date with every academic and non-academic activity around school. From making school plans to scheduling after-school lessons, he invests his time both in and out of school. However, his effortless ways made it easier for him to accommodate at school OHS has also been very supportive towards balancing his work.

“School does a really good job of accommodating us coaches and allowing us to work out schedules, where we can do both,” Cole said. “A lot of time outside of school hours where you either are watching films or grading papers or making practice plans or lesson plans, it requires some time outside school hours.”

Being a teacher and a varsity boys basketball coach is an immense responsibility. Being focused and keeping a positive mindset can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But as said before he loves being on a team, which helps him stay happy and de-stress.

“The friendships that you build, to rely on others, and have others rely on you, all of those things are always really important to me,” Cole said.

Besides teaching and coaching, he also loves traveling and has an interest in biblical history and its origin. This interest of his has made him want to travel to Palestine one day, to learn all about Jesus and explore all of the history that these places have.

“I would love to go back there and [have the] chance to see where so much biblical history has taken place. It’s something that I am interested in; to see where Jesus walked,” Cole said.

Other places that he likes to visit in California, he likes to travel around to keep his mindset clear and come back to his work and family with good vibes. Since he likes to stay in the sun he loves staying in Arizona.

“I enjoy California to some extent. I don’t love the beach but I can for a little bit,  but I would rather be in the sunshine than in a cold place,” Cole said.