Becoming a Leader on the Playground

Ms. Dixie shares the success of one of her students in the Junior Coach Program, leading his peers by example.

“My letter is about a 6th grader last year who had a lot of leadership skills. Other peers looked up to him, idolized him, and pretty much followed his lead. The struggle was that many times his leadership was not utilized in a positive way. After interviewing him and placing him in the Junior Coach Program, I quickly noticed that this was a kid who was truly trying to find out the HOW to be a positive leader. I placed him in the role of Junior Coach, and it was after about two months he came to me and said, Ms. Dixie, I am so frustrated because these little guys just don’t listen. We discussed different strategies, limit setting, relationship building, and structure.

During the next month, he used all of those strategies and had a huge buy-in with our younger kids. They looked up to him so much and he had a huge success in running small groups as well as making strong connections and relationships. One day he came to me and said,

“You know Ms. Dixie, I used to hate people setting limits and disciplining me, and now I see that to have fun, be safe, and learn you have to have structure and discipline! I see now why it is important. They are just teaching me how to listen so I can learn, and have more fun”.

This young man continued to grow, lead, and become one of our best Junior Coaches yet. His experience with being a Junior Coach also spilled over in his relationships with his peers and his teachers. He began to be more successful in the classroom and he would intervene with his peers and work with them on making different and more positive choices. I am very proud of him and all he has accomplished and the growth he has shown”.

-Ms. Dixie, Recess Lead Sedalia Elementary School-

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