For educators, teaching goes beyond an 8-hour work day. Whether they’re tutoring after school or taking time to encourage their students in other settings, there’s no limit to how deeply those in our schools might impact our children’s lives.
A coach from Valdosta, Georgia, has shown he cares about his students both on and off the court. When 34-year-old Jonathan Oliver saw a kindergartener in need of a hair fix, he quickly jumped in to save the day.
Kristen Paulk attends WG Nunn Elementary School, where the kind act took place. Paulk asked for a ponytail during a basketball activity, and her coach had no problem meeting her need.
“It was a good thing she asked for a ponytail,” Oliver told Good Morning America. “Anything else, I’d say, ‘You better ask your mom.'”
But she had no need since the dad of three has had some practice with his own daughter’s hair.
Paulk’s mom, Miyah, shared her gratitude for the kind coach on social media. “This melts my heart,” she shared on her page. “Glad to know my child is well taken care of while in school.”
The school is shouting their praise for Oliver as well. “Thank you, Coach Oliver, for ALL that you do and for shining such a positive light on our school and our community,” the school wrote on Facebook.
Coach Oliver didn’t expect to get so much recognition for helping a student in this way. “It was shocking to me that it got that much attention because we all do it,” he shared with GMA.
“We [teachers] want to make them feel like they’re at home and that they enjoy being here,” he went on. “We try to love on them as much as possible. To me, it was just a ponytail.”
Just a ponytail? We humbly disagree. That ponytail made a difference in that little girl’s day. Oliver said he didn’t know the camera was on him, but we’re so glad it was!
It is people like this kind coach who remind us how much the teachers, staff and administrators in our schools really do. Well done, Coach! Even if you never win a single basketball game, you’re a champion in our playbook.
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