This month, Playworks SLC is honoring Jessi Bath for her work at Lincoln Elementary. Last year, Jessi was a coach at a different school, and we honor her for her flexibility and adaptability in moving from one district to another with all the challenges a new school entails.
Jessi’s building new relationships with new kids, working with a new set of teachers and administrators, and running a completely different schedule on a brand new playground. Through all of that, Jessi has approached her job with poise and confidence. Her kids already love her, and we’ve heard nothing but great things from the teachers at Lincoln.
Congratulations Jessi on being Salt Lake City’s very first Coach of the Month, and holder of the Golden Dodgeball until we select a Coach of the Month in October!
Q & A with Coach Jessi
Playworks SLC: Where do you work as a coach and what was your previous background?
Coach Jessi: I work at Lincoln Elementary School in the Salt Lake School District. Last year I was the coach at Hillsdale Elementary.
Playworks SLC: What drew you to being a coach with Playworks?
Coach Jessi: As soon as I graduated from high school I started working in youth programs, from Parks and Recreation, Afterschool Programs and the Boy Scouts of America. When I discovered Playworks, I was intrigued by the effort and commitment an organization had with helping the future of this great country by teaching children how to play. I was hooked after I went through training and saw how much of an impact Playworks really had.
Playworks SLC: What are some highlights of your first couple of weeks at your school?
Coach Jessi: Highlights at my school include having willing kids who want to play, an amazing and inclusive staff, and my Playworks family behind me helping me every step of play.
Playworks SLC: Could you outline your super-creative approach to your class game time?
Coach Jessi: Class Game Time (CGT) is my favorite part of the day. I get to know the teachers and the students on more of a one to one basis. I also get to involve academics into my CGT. Starting out with an icebreaker helps me with names and gets the students ready to play. I might start out with Call of the Wild, then have the students act like their favorite animal by crawling, slithering, hopping, flying, etc to the line or home base. I would shift the game to Animal Tag, each time the students pick a new animal to be we would talk briefly about the animal. To switch gears completely after that I would play a readiness game or a cooperative game. After that I would play a core game/ higher skill level game, that includes all the skills from the other games, like capture the flag, but maybe change it to Capture the bunny, bear, elephant. I wrap it up after that with a cheer, some breathing, and some stretching to get them ready to go back to class.
*Coach of the Month is a non-competitive award we give to our coaches to honor them for running amazing Playworks programs at each of their schools. Coach of the Month can’t be won, it can only be accepted.