Playworks Coach: Paul Hammond

  1. Updates

Playworks can present many challenges in the first couple of weeks when beginning as a first time coach at a new school. My story begins at the start of the school year with a young man named Bahzia.

The story begins with a game of kickball during recess. I noticed something extraordinary while I was rolling the ball to each participant during the game. Bahzia, without being told to do so, instinctively began letting children in front of him who had not had an opportunity to participate. It was at that moment I recognized that Bahzia was a perfect candidate for the Junior Coach Program.

Bahzia presented some challenges. Although he is very polite, courteous, and is an overall good kid, Bahzia still has momentary moments of anger. He has had a few moments in the classroom where his anger and emotions may have got the best of him. Since becoming a Junior Coach, Bahzia has adopted a method in which he and I work through the issue, do not ignore the problem and find balance.

The growth and progress that Bahzia has made in the classroom has been extraordinary and, admittedly, makes me smile to this day. Bahzia was shy and didn’t say a lot in the beginning. Now, as a junior coach, he leads chants, is unselfish, and leads by example.



More Updates

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts,…