Playworks Utah is honoring Michael Bianca of Copperview Elementary as our AmeriCorps Coach of the Month for March. Michael’s innovative class game times and recesses have seen such novel games as Arena Tag, Bump Lightning, and Mario Kart. His energetic approach to group management and his focus on making every student’s experience on the playground a positive one have made him a successful coach and an integral part of his school. Below is what Michael had to share about his experience as a Playworks Corps Member.
I have had the opportunity to work with kids in many different environments. Last spring I did my student teaching in a 4th grade class. It was a wonderful experience. I love the classroom atmosphere. I have taught gymnastics to girls and boys ages 3-16 years and classes with toddlers to build strength and coordination. Before that I was a camp counselor at a sports camp using sports to improve skills and help develop social and emotional skills.
I heard about Playworks from an alumni at my college who was talking about the amazing relationship she built with her kids and teachers and the impact she made on her school. I wanted to interact with kids in a positive way building on a positive behavior intervention system, which I have always believed to have a strong impact on elementary students.
Some of the things I have going in my program are the different games that keep the kids engaged. It has been so fun hearing the kids talk about how much they love playing different games at recess. Something I struggled with at the beginning of the year was getting kids involved in games. When I centered recess around a couple of games that were fun for all ages of kids, I saw a lot more kids playing in those games. Core games were not as successful as the wacky games that the kids and I created at recess.
My favorite part of being an AmeriCorps member is witnessing the amazing transformation that happens in the amount of time I am serving.