A sense of possibility… what lies beneath and within this thinking has entertained great writers, thinkers and philosophers for centuries. For those in education it can provoke critical questions that go to the core of our beliefs and attitudes about the capabilities of young people and the importance of creating transformational learning experiences.
The start of a new school year is a great time to evaluate your school’s implementation of the Peer Support Program with this in mind. If you are currently implementing the Peer Support Program at your school, how effective is it? How do you know?
Do our beliefs and actions – both individually and as a school – really support students and their enormous potential and sometimes surprising possibilities? When a sense of possibility infuses our values and practices, we can enact a strengths-based way of thinking and acting with and towards students.
Sometimes changes to our recommended best practice may dilute some evidence informed elements necessary for effective social and emotional learning. Fixed mindsets can work against the purpose of the Program. Communication across the whole school community about the nature and purpose of the Program can help improve engagement and enable teachers for example to see the possibilities provided by the Program’s links to curriculum.
Another important factor in the Program’s success, is allocating to it adequate and effectively placed time, including for briefing and debriefing. This ensures students have a solid opportunity to learn and practise skills and build meaningful connections.
Take a moment to review a couple of our best practice tips for implementing the Peer Support Program. More helpful tips and resources can be found on our members’ Portal.
- School Community Awareness Raising: When understanding, concepts and language are shared amongst staff, students and parents, the possibilities for effective learning are enhanced. Videos and newsletter items are available on our Portal to assist with this.
- Inclusive Leadership Training: Leadership training is best provided to ALL Year 6 or Year 10 students. Every student should be afforded opportunities to develop leadership skills such as effective communication, problem solving, demonstrating empathy and relationship building. Inclusive leadership enables schools to truly discover what is possible for their students.
Attending an Implementation Workshop is the best way to ensure familiarity with the best practice model of the Peer Support Program. Consultant support is available to member schools, including staff, student and parent talks to assist with your implementation.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” Albert Einstein