Did you read about the Peer Leadership Program? http://generationtextonline.wordpress.com/
In the case of last week, working with 60 Peer Leaders, I was privileged to have my intern, Hailey, present at the training. Hailey is an Education Candidate at Kean University, and is much closer to the kids' age than I am. I asked Hailey to write a paragraph so I could get her perspective on the peer leader program we teach so often. Here is what she said:
“Watching Jill’s peer leadership program takes me back to my school days. I went to a k – 8 school. I grew up as an only child so my peers had the BIGGEST influence on me…especially the older ones. They were the ones with the lingo, the ones that wore the coolest clothes, the ones who I actually listened to. I would pay attention to every move and every word they would say. I respected them in a totally different manner than I did my teachers. They were both ideals, but held different roles. My teachers held the reins and I never really made a connection with them. I always felt
like they didn’t understand me. It was almost as if they were only interested in
teaching and just getting their point across, and that’s it.
“Watching Jill connect with these 8th graders was amazing. They were having fun, laughing, but working hard at the same time. One thing I thought was neat was “how” Jill was teaching them. The goals of each lesson were:
• what it takes to be a great role model
• how to actively listen
• to “notice”
• fun lessons disguised as games to do with the younger students
“Rather than standing in front of the room lecturing, Jill was teaching by example. Instead of telling the 8th graders “how” to do it, she did it with them. After she presented a lesson or exercise, she asked them to critique what she did. She asked them questions and allowed them to “connect” what is effective when teaching a class. These peer leaders are used to being told what to do by an adult. In this program they were all able to independently think and express their own ideas and thoughts. They were learning what it means to be a good leader, teacher and listener. Just by the excitement and conversations going on in the rooms, I could see that this group of 8th grade students felt good about themselves. They felt important!
Now it’s the job of those peer leaders to create the same experience with the younger students!
“We all learned that even calling someone by name or reaching out for a high five in the hallway creates a positive environment it starts with the simplest gesture! It’s all about making somebody feel good. If someone had noticed me and made me feel important in 4th grade, I know that would have given me the confidence I needed to copy the same positive behavior…maybe I would have recognized the types of things that hurt other people…maybe I would have noticed if somebody else needed help…maybe I would have not always followed the crowd.
“Walking out of Jill’s peer leader program, I witnessed that this 8th grade now holds the tools they need to create a positive epidemic. These 8th graders have the power!!”
Generation Text Online
Programs that provide Solutions to STOP cyberbullying
A place for kids to connect in a safe place...