This is for you, the student who chose never to play. It is for you, the student who stood under his tree instead of kick a ball or run around the playground, who chose to be alone every recess, who chose never to speak. This is for you, the student who wouldn’t even go into the shed to hide from the rain. This is for you, the student who would have rather gotten soaking wet, the student who would have rather stood by himself than find a friend. This is for you.
When I first met this student he looked lonely and bored. He wanted recess to end as soon as possible. He never participated in class game time. He never wanted to interact with other students. All he wanted to do was sit under his favorite tree and wait until it was time for lunch.
I tried to find an activity that interested you. At the beginning of recess we rocked it out, and I saw what used to be a frown turn into a large smile. Though you still stood under your tree, you began to rock it out with students who passed you by, that same, once non-existent smile growing bigger every time. This is when I knew it was time for something more!
Today is the day, I told myself. We are going to get him to play a game, he’s ready, I just know it. After several attempts, you finally said yes, and that was the start of a never-ending playful recess.
First it was wall-ball and two-touch with coach, then soccer with recess staff, and now soccer with other students. I have watched as you’ve built your confidence in this game. Though timid, quiet, and still a bit unsure, you willingly invite others to play with you. I have watched as you’ve created friendships with students who also once played alone, I have watched as your once small smile has grown into a big one. I have watched as you’ve built trust in coach, school staff, and student peers.
We have many steps to take friend, but your growth is inspiring to see and watch every day.
This is for the students who need that little extra push, that little extra confidence boost. This is for the coaches who share a similar story, who have or had a student like this one in the story. You got this, you can do it. We got this, we can do it.