At the end of the school year last June, I was asked if I would like to start at a new school for the following year. I remember considering the two choices—staying here at Sandy Elementary or going somewhere new—and it didn’t take me very long to come to the obvious answer. Sandy Elementary, from the students to the staff, had become my home; there was no other place I would rather be.
Being a second year coach, I feel that I am able to push the boundaries of what I accomplished last year here at Sandy. The support at my school has led to a positive environment that allows me to try new things.
This year, we have implemented a new after school program called the Junior Coach Leadership Program. The JCLP consists of students that were recommended by their teachers and chosen to help their classmates play at recess. Each day after school, the junior coaches and I spend over an hour learning about leadership, conflict resolution skills and problem solving to help them out during the school day. We collectively came up with “Group Agreements” that we follow and discuss at each meeting. I offered out a few agreements revolving around respecting others, being good listeners, and keeping our area clean.
When I opened up the floor for the coaches to choose other agreements, one of the students described going out of our way to help others. After the other coaches agreed and added their input, we came up with calling it “Above and Beyond”. Each meeting, we recognize anyone going above and beyond what is expected of them. By recognizing these actions, we have noticed that many of our students go beyond the expectations without being noticed.
My coaches have also started to do more than what is asked of them, whether it is as simple as handing out their co-coaches shirts for their shift or complex as solving an issue between two kindergarteners.
This agreement is one that I also have adopted at my school and I strive for as a second year coach. With such an amazing atmosphere and my previous experience, I am able to go above and beyond from what is expected and make this year that much better.