Introduction: This is a hands-on, interactive session featuring reflection and critical thinking skill development. It is designed for mixed groups of students and adults, with no more than 40 participants.
Goal: When this session is complete participants should be able to…
- Define Student-Adult Partnerships in a variety of settings throughout schools
- Identify currently existing Student-Adult Partnerships in the school
Time: 180 minutes
Materials: Flip chart paper and markers
Space: Enough room for the group to split up into small groups. It will be necessary to move chairs in order to conduct the icebreaker.
Considerations: Throw in a break at some point during the lesson. The case study activity near the end is optional, and can be omitted to allow more time for discussion in the small or large groups.
- [3 min] Introduce yourself, review the agenda, and go over the goals.
- [10 min] Choose an ice breaker, and make sure the game ends with everyone in small groups of all students or all adults. See www.freechild.org/gamesguide.htm
- [20 min] Each same-age small group should answer the following questions and records their answers on flip chart paper.
- What does the other age group do that really bothers you and makes it difficult for you to work together?
- What do you do that gets in the way and makes it difficult for students and adults to work together?
- What do you really like or value about working with students/adults?
- [10 min] Have each small group report back to the whole group. Pick top barriers from all the groups by choosing the ones that are most common or that, if solved would make things a whole heck of a lot easier.
- [20 min] Break into small, mixed-age groups. Assign each group one of the top barriers, and have them develop strategies for preventing and/or overcoming the barrier.
- [20 min] Have each group report back to whole group.
- [10 min] Review the Principles of Student-Adult Partnerships handout from the end of this lesson plan.
- [10 min] Have each participant take a moment to write a reflection on two things they can do personally in the next two weeks. After that, they should brainstorm two things they can do in their class or throughout their school in the next two months to make Student-Adult Partnerships work. Have people refer back to the lists of strategies generated if they get stuck. Ask for individuals to share so others can get additional ideas by listening.
- [5 min] Evaluate and close the session.
Optional Activity [20 min] If time allows, take an example from the group of a project in progress or up-coming situation in which students and adults are or will be working together. Have that group member give the background (people involved, what is going on/will happen, current or anticipated barriers, etc.) and have the rest of the group try to come up with solutions for the person’s problem.
- Facilitator Notes and Requirements
- Intro to Student/Adult Partnerships
- Intro to Student Voice
- Readiness for Student/Adult Partnerships
- Bias Against Students
- Being Students
- Understanding Who You Are
- Language in Schools
- Learning to Listen
- Feedback Techniques
- Jargon in Schools
- Power, Trust, and Respect
- Ground Rules
- Group Strengths and Weaknesses
- Trust Circle
- Action Planning
- Problem Solving
- Staying Solutions-Focused
- Letting Go & Taking Charge
- Ideal Partners
- Creating Roles for Students and Adults