We had a great amount of interest in the Junior Coach Leadership Program at my school this year, which made it easy to select 15 students to participate. I try to make sure to not just choose students who are well-behaved and make good grades. To me, a potentially great team is one that consists of children who fall everywhere on the behavior spectrum.
There was one student who was determined to be a Junior Coach since the start of the school year. His name is Eduardo, and he is a fourth grader. He asked nearly every day if Junior Coach applications had gone out yet. When I did put them out, he looked at the application and asked, “Do I have to fill it out?” I told him, "Yes, it is a job application, just do your best." He looked worried but agreed to try. The day after applications went out, I received several back, but there was no sign of Eduardo's. Eduardo came to me panicked, and let me know that he had not finished his application yet, though he was trying. I told him not to worry, he still had over a week until the deadline.
Later that day, the new speech teacher at school stopped me. She introduced herself and told me she really hoped I intended to make Eduardo a Junior Coach. I told her he was one of my top picks. She then became emotional, and said with tears in her eyes, “Eduardo is a super sweet kid, and he wants this more than anything. He brought me the application and asked me to help him fill it out because he has trouble with words, and he wanted his application to be the best one in the bunch.” I nearly melted at this moving story.
Long story short: Eduardo was most certainly chosen for my Junior Coach team. Shortly after he made the team, I learned that Eduardo's mother unfortunately was not able to pick him up after school, meaning he would not be able to attend the weekly Junior Coach Leadership meetings. Eduardo was afraid he would not be able to be a coach after all his hard work. To ensure he could remain a Junior Coach, I created a brand new position for him called the "Floater Coach." Eduardo still is able to participate in all of the in-school Junior Coach programming, he just does not attend the after school segment. I told Eduardo, "You are the only 'Floater Coach' in the history of Fayetteville Street Elementary, and that makes you super special!" A special position, for an extra special kid.