gymnasium in school
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
August 31, 2023 ·  5 min read

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

Although the world is full of suffering and turmoil, good people are still out there. These people are making the world a better and brighter place. For example, a coach went viral in 2019 for performing a kind act for a younger student.

Going Viral for a Kind Act

In 2019, physical education teacher Jonathan Oliver from Georgia went viral for a simple kind act. Oliver was approached by a kindergartener student, who asked him for help fixing her ponytail. Without any hesitation, he paused his lesson to offer a hand.

After going viral for the kind act, he appeared on Good Morning America. Disclosing that he often fixes his own daughter’s hair, he comically explained that his skill set only goes as far as ponytails. “It was a good thing she asked for a ponytail,” Oliver said while chuckling. “Anything else, I’d say, ‘You better ask your mom.'”

Although he had no idea he was being filmed, Oliver didn’t hesitate to help little Kristen out. Within 2 weeks, the video had racked up 3 million views. The kind act appeared to warm the hearts of millions.

Jonathan Oliver braiding kindergarteners hair
Image Credit: Kandice K Anderson 

“We want to make them feel like they’re at home and that they enjoy being here,” Oliver shared. “We try to love on them as much as possible. To me, it was just a ponytail.”

Kristen’s mom expressed joy at the event, 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.” She concluded.

Unexpected Kindness

There are a number of elements here that make this kind act so special. In a society that has often emphasized stereotypical “gender roles,” Oliver stepped up to help a little girl with her hair, just as we would his own daughter. Although he has limited skills, his efforts shine a beautiful light on the recent relationship techniques such as sharing responsibilities and both parents caring for their children. Oliver chose to nurture the student and treat her with the same care he would his own children. Which for most parents, is all they want when they send their babies out into the world.

Furthermore, this encounter between a young student and one of her educators shows the importance of looking out for one another and helping to compassionately guide children’s

Appreciation for Educators

Although many teachers suffer from burnout, are underpaid, and often feel underappreciated, their profession is arguably one of the most important in existence. Teachers help lay a foundation for all children to become successful, educated, and skilled in their desired fields. Teachers spend more time with children than their own parents. Not by fault of their parents, but parents have to work, and children spend around 8 hours a day with their teachers and peers.

It’s of utmost importance for teachers to respect and nurture their students, giving them a sense of security. These kind acts will instill in future generations the importance of treating one another with love, kindness, and respect.

When children are treated with a simple kind act, such as meeting their needs and respecting them, they benefit in more ways than just how they learn to interact with one another. In fact, according to Psychology Today, children who are treated with kindness and respect have higher self-esteem, are more driven toward success, and are more creative. Other benefits include prioritizing self-care and learning to resolve conflict with ease.

Additionally, children learn better when they are taught by example rather than just told what to do. Therefore, when parents and teachers work together to treat their children, students, colleagues, and one another in this manner, it becomes reinforced in the child’s mind. They are ultimately becoming habits in the future.

Since so many people need to heal from their childhood, it might not be second nature to treat others with love or engage in a kind act. Here are some easy, every day, examples for treating others, children included, with love, respect, and kindness.

Kind Act 101

  1. Read the Room- This is perhaps one of the easiest kind acts to achieve. Simply because it requires no money and very little effort. All that has to be done, is to observe the people around you. Then treat them based on the needs they’re expressing. Be supportive, give them space, or just hear them out. In many cases, this is the most effective form of support for someone going through a tough or stressful time.
  2. Use Manners- Simply say hello, excuse me, please, and thank you, at appropriate times. This concept also extends to things like respecting personal space and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your arm.
  3. Leave a Note- Although this applies in cases where someone has mistakenly damaged someone else’s property, it can also apply to random daily acts. Some examples include leaving a little note to thank a veteran on their vehicle’s windshield or painting rocks with uplifting quotes for others to find.
  4. Learn from the leave a penny, take a penny jar- Many gas stations or grocery stores have little jars or cups on the counter that are intended to help someone out if they’re a few cents short on their bill. This generosity can also be applied to things like donating a little money to help pay off school lunch debts. Donating extra food from gardens to food pantries and or placing them in a box for neighbors to take.
  5. Offer unyielding Praise- We are all doing the best we can to navigate the harsh realities of life, so everyone could use a pick me up from time to time. Be brave enough to compliment someone on their efforts or their fashion and hair choices.


A kind act starts at home, is carried over into school, and will ultimately change the world into a brighter and more loving place for everyone. Luckily, there are educators like Jonathan Oliver, to help the process along.

Keep Reading: 31-Year-Old Man Invited 89-Year-Old Neighbor To Live With Him To Spend Her Last Days In Company


  1. Why Should Children Be Respected?Whizpa
  2. Coach goes viral online for this one act during kids’ basketball game.Newsner. PHOEBE EGOROFF August 23, 2023
  3. This teacher fixing his student’s hair in gym class is warming the hearts of millions.” Good Morning America. Nicole Pelletiere February 08, 2019
  4. 35 Small Acts of Kindness to Brighten Someone’s Day Instantly. Reader’s Digest Susan Spencer and Chloë Nannestad April 24, 2023
  5. Parenting: Respect Starts at Home.Psychology Today. Jim Taylor January 5, 2010