Junior Coach Juna is a 4th grader at the JFK School in Jamaica Plain. Although Junior Coaches have only been on duty since October, Juna stands out as a role model not only for younger students, but for her fellow Junior Coaches as well.
During her recess shifts, Juna takes on responsibilities without being asked, like leading the recess opening, setting up boundaries, and cleaning up equipment when recess is over. She facilitates a respectful and inclusive environment by inviting students to join in games, giving high fives, and encouraging students to use rock, paper, scissors to resolve conflicts.
Coach Jonah, the Playworks AmeriCorps coach at the JFK, reports that Juna is always engaged during Junior Coach training as well.
“We have been learning about using attention getters and game facilitation techniques to help make recess more inclusive,” says Jonah. “She even uses attention getters to get her fellow Junior Coaches’ attention and make sure they are following the group agreements at training.”
Not only is Juna an amazing Junior Coach, she is also a member of the Playworks girls’ basketball team at the JFK!
We are proud to have Juna on our Playworks team at the JFK. We know she will continue to make a difference every day by facilitating a fun and inclusive recess and by supporting her fellow Junior Coaches to be the best they can be.
Q & A with Junior Coach Juna
Q: How does it feel to be selected as the Junior Coach of the Month?
It feels good because it shows that people care about how you work with kids and how they think you’re a good person to work with.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a Junior Coach?
My favorite part of being a Junior Coach is working with younger kids. I don’t have younger siblings, only two older sisters, so being a Junior Coach is like having a big family.
Q: What have you learned from Coach Jonah at Junior Coach Training?
One thing I’ve learned from Coach Jonah is that if you’re going to play a game but you think the kids have already learned how to play that game and they’ve gotten the hang of it, you should leave that game and let them lead it by themselves so you can help some other kids play something else.
Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to other Junior Coaches who want to be successful?
I would give them advice that they should try not to yell at the kids because it hurts their feelings. Try to be nice to them, like if someone is out of line say, “get into line, please.” Just be nice!
Q: What is your favorite game to play at recess?
I think my favorite game to play at recess is actually foursquare.