Story from the Playground: Coach Michael

  1. Updates

Playworks Junior Coaches help our coaches facilitate recess, but more importantly, they learn how to lead, resolve conflicts, problem solve, and model positive behavior. Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program gives students a new sense of purpose and provides them with the resources to discover their best selves. Coach Michael explains how giving students more responsibility has allowed them to flourish as leaders. 


A student, who I will call Timothy, had a bad reputation at school. Many school staff members were telling me how defiant he could be. So, I made him a Junior Coach hoping this could positively change his behavior. I worked closely with him, teaching and inspiring him to make better decisions with his actions and words. After some time, I saw that he was really taking his Junior Coaching job very seriously. This was just what I wanted to see from him. I knew he would excel as a leader as long as he was given the chance to make a positive impact and do good for the school.

I have noticed many students are labeled as the “troublemaker” or the “bad kid,” but it is important to ignore those labels and instead focus on their strengths. If someone is always hearing about how “bad” they are, then they will never think that they can do good. My goal is to teach these students that they can do good as long as they set their mind to something and block out the negativity. Everyone feeds off of each others’ energy and personalities. Complementing, acknowledging, and role modeling is huge. To me, these actions make the biggest impacts on even some of the hardest kids to work with.

More Updates


coach standing in front of children
coach standing in front of children

July 19, 2021

Warriors Community Foundation and Salesforce sponsor Playworks video ›

Playworks is delighted to share this video showcasing our continued partnership with the Warriors Community Foundation and Salesforce during the 2020-21 school year! We are grateful for our highlighted partners, Catholic Charities Maureen & Craig Sullivan Youth Services in San Francisco and Manzanita Community School in Oakland. Playworks has delivered safe and healthy play to…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…