A Coach’s Act of Kindness: Going Beyond Teaching

Coach goes viral online for this one act during kids’ basketball game

Teachers are some of the most significant members of our community, yet they often go unappreciated. They dedicate their lives to educate others, serve as role models, and mentor the younger generations. We frequently hear about teachers going above and beyond to help others, especially the children in their care.

One such hero is Jonathan Oliver, a phys-ed teacher at WG Nunn Elementary in Valdosta, Georgia, who was recognized for his kind act towards a kindergartener while coaching a basketball game. He gladly assisted one of his students when she reached out for his help.

It all happened when Kristen Paulk, a kindergartener on Oliver’s basketball team, asked him to put her hair back in a ponytail. Without hesitation, Oliver got down on one knee, using a basketball as his support, to attend to little Kristen’s request. Little did he know, he was being recorded.

Kandice Anderson, another teacher at the school, captured the coach’s heartwarming gesture on video and shared it on YouTube. The video quickly went viral, attracting overwhelming support from the public. The video was titled “When your job goes beyond teaching!” – a testament to the extraordinary efforts teachers put into their work.

When Good Morning America came across the video, they reached out to Oliver for an interview. The 34-year-old father of three expressed his surprise at the attention the video received, stating, “It was shocking to me that it got that much attention because we all do it.” Oliver didn’t realize he was being filmed while helping Kristen.

He further explained, “We [teachers] want to make them feel like they’re at home and that they enjoy being here. We try to love on them as much as possible. To me, it was just a ponytail.” Oliver’s caring nature extends beyond the basketball court. He often helps style his own daughter’s hair, but he humbly admitted that his expertise ends with ponytails.

Kristen’s mother, Miyah Cleckley, was deeply moved by the video. She expressed her gratitude for Oliver, stating, “I always know that Kristen is in very good hands with him. I thought it was really cute because her father he does their hair a lot. We have five girls and one son, so when I’m working, he has to pick up the weight of doing their hair.”

Jonathan Oliver’s act of kindness touched the hearts of many. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the dedication and care that teachers bring to their roles each day. They don’t just teach; they go above and beyond to make a positive impact on the lives of their students. Let’s appreciate and honor these unsung heroes in our community.