Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski were nominated as a team for Educators of the Month. These two staff members exemplify inclusion, healthy community and healthy play at Allen-Field Elementary School. There are so many things these teachers have done to promote playworks values in their classroom for students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders. Here is what Playworks Coach Cyndi shared about these educators:
"The first day I created the Class Game Time schedule, Ms. Colby emailed me advocating for her students to have an opportunity to have play in her classroom. Me not including her class was a clerical error on my part, and I went to apologize to her in person. She was understanding, and explained that her methods of teaching strategies for emotional management paralleled the ideas that Playworks uses. Since September and this conversation with her, I have gone out of my way to stop by her classroom to see what her students are up to, and each time I am amazed at what I see in the classroom.
From meditation, to Just Dance, to incorporating games, Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski try to give their students every opportunity to get moving. Around October, I got the idea to get one of their 5th grade students to be on the soccer league. Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski thought this was a fantastic idea because it would help the student use the emotional management strategies he was taught for the 4 years he was with them. The two barriers that he ran into, though, were getting his mom on board with the idea, and getting transportation. Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski, with the help of the school psychologist, spent about a week calling his mom and explaining the importance of getting this student into the program. Finally, we got the permission slip back and he began showing up at the practices. As a precautio, Ms Colby volunteered to be the Assistant Coach so that this student had someone to go to if he lost control of himself. She spent much of the time giving high fives, volunteering her room as a practice space, and offering encouragement to all of the students. Having her at the soccer games seemed to keep the student engaged. We all saw the confidence of the student rise, and we noticed that he was using the strategies Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski used with other students! Their methods are so effective that students in their class use these methods to help other students self-regulate.
Check out our video to hear from Ms. Colby and Ms. Lelinski!