William Yu: Life Skills Development through Sport

Year: 2021 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

North Agincourt Junior Public School
Grades 1 to 6 - health and physical education
Toronto, Ontario


“Bill goes above and beyond for the well-being of his students. I’ve seen it first hand when he invited me to speak to his kids. The passion kids express about him speaks volumes. Several years after leaving the school those kids still express the same sentiments. He encourages them to reach for the stars. It is a pleasure to see such professionalism from someone leading the force of tomorrow!”


Teaching Approach

Bill developed the 4S system and holds it as his teaching philosophy. Safety refers to respect for physical and emotional safety for themselves and others. Sportsmanship is about fair play, sharing, following rules and encouraging others. Sweat is about putting in their best effort. Bill believes developing the first three - in order - is necessary to develop Skill – the last S which also includes leadership skills. The 4S approach is a path for students to succeed and promotes a positive attitude beyond the gym class.

In the Classroom

Bill’s class is about inclusion and the holistic development of the student. He does not reward students only because of their natural athleticism. In fact, students who have great sports ability but lack the attitude to play safely, to demonstrate good sportsmanship, or not put in their best effort can actually receive a lower achievement result. The inclusive nature of the 4S system results in students gaining life skills as much as sports abilities.

Bill’s pedagogy is based on creative problem solving, coding, digital literacy, and robotics. During summer programs, he uses Dash & Dot (robots that help kids learn the basics of robotics and coding) to allow students of different learning styles to be exposed to the fundamental STEM principles and skills. This enhances creativity and incorporates the design thinking process to understand issues and find solutions. He also incorporates technology and social media to teach Health and Physical Education lessons on fitness, nutrition, mental health, anti-racism, and financial literacy on a daily basis.

Outstanding Achievements

For Bill, school is more than academic learning. For instance, he has welcomed Toronto Police officers to give lessons on Internet Safety. Based on his good rapport with his students, Bill has also done counseling for some who were victims of cyberbullying. In one case he helped two students who were being bullied through Snapchat and Instagram. He provided a sequence of steps to follow, from ignoring to reporting if needed. But his main goal – and achievement - was to help them solidify their self-esteem, integrity and ability to choose their friends.

Bill’s passion for helping students goes far beyond his classroom. From 2007-2011 he spent summers working at the El Sauzal Orphanage in a remote area of Mexico. Along with cooking, cleaning, construction and community outreach with his team members, Bill ran sport camps for the 50+ orphans housed at the facility. He worked and helped lead his team to arrange for the supply of enough equipment so orphanage volunteers could continue throughout the year. He continues to support orphanages and schools around the world, most recently by running fundraising events to support the Verbo school in Bluefields, Nicaragua as well as his own school community in Toronto.

Get in touch!

North Agincourt Junior Public School
60 Moran Road
Toronto, ON  M1S 2J3
Email: NorthAgincourt@tdsb.on.ca
Twitter: @TDSB_North_A