At the Mather School, you can find Playworks Junior Coach Cattleya leading her peers in recess games, resolving conflicts at recess, and modeling positive language on the playground. Read more to hear about what a day in her life looks like, and what leadership means to her!
At the Mather School where Junior Coach Cattleya is in fifth grade, Playworks Coach Becca leads her group of eleven 4th and 5th grade leaders through the Junior Coach Leadership Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Coach Becca teaches her JCs new games and practices conflict resolution skills with them in order to equip Junior Coaches to co-lead recesses with younger grades.
Junior Coach Cattleya gets to flex her leadership skills at 1st and 2nd grade recess on Wednesdays. To begin her shift, she meets with Coach Becca to run through her game plan, puts on her purple Junior Coach shirt, and then heads off to her first class to run recess!
When Junior Coach Cattleya walks into the 2nd grade classroom for indoor recess, she immediately leads an attention getter to get the students ready and excited for recess! When she announces that the first game that they’ll be playing is Splat, the second graders’ cheers are loud as they form a circle around Junior Coach Cattleya and get ready to play one of their favorite games. After a few rounds of Splat, Junior Coach Cattleya decides to switch up the game and says, “Who wants to play Bob the Bunny?” The entire room starts to cheer and energy levels are through the roof.
Following 2nd grade recess, Junior Coach Cattleya heads over to a 1st grade classroom where she facilitates a version of Color Tag using the colorful carpet and meant to practice students’ listening skills in a fun and engaging way. This game always prompts lots of laughter, which can be heard all around the room and into the hallway as the students play. In order to calm students down before they transition back into academic learning, she concludes recess with a calm game of Huckle Buckle Beanstalk, which is another class favorite.
“Junior Coach Cattleya’s positive energy always brings joy to the playground, and I know I can trust her to facilitate awesome games during recess,” says Coach Becca. “She’s an awesome peer leader and I’m so lucky to have her as a Junior Coach!”
When asked what being a peer leader means to her, Junior Coach Cattleya said, “It’s like being a leader to younger kids even though you are a kid, but still being able to teach them new things. Being a leader means working hard, thinking about others, and having empathy.”
Learn more about the Junior Coach Program and see it in action by emailing Leah Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.