The responsibilities of a kindergarten physical education teacher include organizing games and challenges that promote physical activity for the children, with the goal of improving their motor skills and enhancing their physical development. But one such teacher in Georgia willingly performed beyond his job description to grant the favor of a pupil who asked for his help.
While in gym class, Jonathan Oliver was filmed pausing to assist kindergartner Kristen Paulk at WG Nunn Elementary School in Valdosta. The request of the child? If the teacher could put her hair in a ponytail. Without hesitation, Mr. Oliver went down on his knees and fixed Kristen’s hair effortlessly.
The sweet moment was shared on Facebook by the assistant kindergarten teacher, Kandice Anderson. She wrote, “When your job goes beyond teaching… #CoachO #LoveIt.”
The footage became an instant hit, garnering over 3 million views in a span of two weeks.
“It was shocking to me that it got that much attention because we all do it,” Oliver told Good Morning America, revealing that he didn’t realize he was being filmed.
“We [teachers] want to make them feel like they’re at home and that they enjoy being here,” he added. “We try to love on them as much as possible. To me, it was just a ponytail.”
Oliver has a 4-year old daughter whose hair he often styles, which explains why he knew exactly how to fix Kristen’s hair.
Though skilled at doing a ponytail, Oliver says his expertise doesn’t go beyond it.
“It was a good thing she asked for a ponytail,” Oliver said, laughing. “Anything else, I’d say, ‘You better ask your mom.'”
Miyah Cleckley, Kristen’s mom, says that she was touched by the video.
“I always know that Kristen is in very good hands with him,” Cleckley said of Oliver. “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.”
Mr. Oliver’s actions is a classic example of teachers doing beyond what is asked of them, simply because they genuinely love and care for their students.
Watch the footage below from Good Morning America to see Mr. Oliver expertly fix Kristen’s ponytail.