Playground Story of the Week

A positive playground story from Coach Michael

Playworks’ Junior Coach program allows students to help our coaches facilitate recess, and more importantly has the power to teach these students valuable, wide-ranging skills along the way. Giving the following student added responsibilities helped him channel his focus towards his strengths rather than his weaknesses.


          A student who I will call Timothy has had a bad rep at school. Many school staff members were telling me how defiant he could be, so I made him a Junior Coach hoping this could positively change his behavior. I worked closely with him, teaching and inspiring him to make better decisions with his actions and words. After some time, I saw that he was really taking his Junior Coaching job very seriously. This was just what I wanted to see from him. I knew he would excel as a leader as long as he was given the chance to make a positive impact and do good for the school.

          I have noticed many students are labeled as the “troublemaker” or the “bad kid,” but it is important to ignore those labels and instead focus on their strengths. If someone is always hearing about how “bad” they are, then they will never think they can do good. My goal is to teach these students that they can do good as long as they set their mind to something and block out the negativity. Everyone feeds off of others’ energy and personalities. Complementing, acknowledging, and role modeling is huge. To me, these actions make the biggest impacts on even some of the hardest kids to work with.

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