Coach Frankie Encourages Teachers and Kids to Play Together

  1. Updates
Francheska Santiago has a colorful and vibrant personality that is always on display at Howe School of Excellence on the west side of Chicago. A second year program coordinator, Coach Frankie, as students call her, has consistently high expectations and an encouraging nature. Every day she teaches, leads and encourages other adults to get involved involved on the playground. When teachers sit back during class game time (CGT), Coach Frankie encourages them to play and build rapport with the students.
One teacher, in particular, had a challenging class who often missed recess due to poor behavior. After a few month, however, she began playing with her students during CGT. During games, she had a rarely seen smile on her face. "My winning moment with this teacher is when she asked to lead a game of Night at the Museum," Coach Frankie shared. "I saw her call out kids that she caught moving, give them a high five and tell them in a playful manner 'You owe me five I'm awesome claps because YOU are awesome!'" This teacher soon realized how fun it was for both her and the kids to see her in a playful way. The students began to trust and respect their teacher more. And with each CGT, the students became calmer in the classroom. Now the students are more focused when it's time to learn. CGT has given back learning time. And now the students always have recess!

Coach Frankie has built strong relationships with the Howe community! Enthusiastic and compassionate, Frankie is always ready and willing to help students make better decisions inside and outside of the classroom. She has changed the recess climate from one that emphasized competition and compliance to one that encourages choices and community and reorganized indoor recess for sixth grade in a way that made it an inclusive and dynamic period for all students to enjoy.

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