Student clubs can be an excellent way to connect with students, expand your school counseling program, and address a school wide need. What clubs have you organized or led?
When I was working in a grades 7-8 school, I co-led a Peer Leaders club. We trained students to be positive influences on their peers, stand up bullying, talk to their friends about healthy choices (drug use, emotional health, etc.) and to look for potential warning signs in their peers’ online statements and activity and everyday discussion.
Our main focus was empathy and active listening so that peers could feel heard and also trust the Peer Leaders. We saw great results of students self-referring for counseling after having a meaningful conversation with a Peer Leader.
Student Led Assemblies
Student clubs are such an interactive way to get to know students, especially those who do not participate in other counseling related activities with you. I love how clubs serve as a non-academic outlet for students, allowing them to shine! I have ran several different "clubs" in the past.
Currently, I am in charge of the Character Council students, which is a bit traditional, however, we have taken it to another level! These students plan, organize and present our assemblies. Did I mention, they are 3rd & 4th Graders!
During our first meeting, I go over how to brainstorm ideas & talk to the principals about upcoming announcements. Then, they know the routine and carry it out all year. They also, organize guest speakers and showcase other students. It's really cool when a kid can get on the phone and ask a community member to help out!
Last year our students spoke at a school board meeting and a counseling leadership event. I really enjoy being on the sidelines and watching the students grow into amazing leaders. Check out how you can make the switch to Student-Led Assemblies.
Positive Peer Mediation
As an Elementary Counselor, I currently lead our Positive Peer Mediation Program. Our Positive Peer Mediation Program is a combination of conflict resolution and PBIS tier 1 strategies. Our focus is on Peer Mediation for the 21st Century.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are trained to not only support students in solving small problems but they are also trained to catch students making expected choices. They give out our PBIS paw (Hoover Huskies) when they see students meeting any of our 4 expectations. Our expectations are: Respect Peers, Adults, World and Self. The acronym spells out PAWS.
Our school is very diverse and we strive to create a culture of inclusivity and positivity. We are very proud of the fact that for the 5th straight year, we have been awarded the Wisconsin PBIS Silver level of recognition. Schools are recognized in Wisconsin for having a equitable level of system support. We have an amazing team of staff and students and we work hard to make this happen.
Peer Mediation has truly evolved over the years. It is important in education that we meet students where they are currently at. We also strive to have technology integrated into our Positive Peer Mediation programming. To the online google application from the start to the PBIS video integration that takes place throughout. It is so important to keep students engaged in the process.
Check out more information on Peer Mediation for the 21st Century.