Growing learners who serve and lead…bright spot thinking

At Westminster we grow lifelong learners
who serve and lead in a changing world.
~Learning for Life vision statement

When do students have to opportunity to serve and lead?  When do we actively provide opportunities for our students to genuinely be in charge?  How often do we have to opportunity to mix grade levels and get to know each other?

Today was such a day.  Learning occurred everywhere…real learning…the messy, complicated, beautiful kind of learning and leading that we should embrace and celebrate!

I had the opportunity to watch and learn with a mix of 8th and 12th graders.  Can you imagine anything more fun for a group of 8th graders than to get to spend time learning with seniors?  The point of the session was simply to learn each others name and to get to know each other a little bit.  We will have another opportunity to work and learn together in March, and we do not want to be strangers for our time of service and learning.

The bright spots that I witnessed included a team effort to guarantee that all 25 students had a voice and an opportunity to participate.  Regularly, the two senior facilitators checked with each other to reflect and revise to make the learning experience flow.  They did not “take turns;” they co-facilitated.  How great would it have been to have the experience of co-facilitating prior to your first job or committee?

Our facilitators also provided leadership and scaffolding to make the experience warm and inviting for all involved.  When “tested,” students were reassured that it was okay if they still missed a name or two.  Success was applauded; struggle was supported.  Most impressive was the thoughtfulness with which our facilitators guaranteed that everyone had a turn to be in the “spotlight.” Every student had an opportunity to be known and recognized during the activities.  No one was left out.  Our 8th graders were encouraged and included and contributed.  Bravo to all!

I wonder about bright spots in other groups.  What should we celebrate? What was done that we should do more of in the future?

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