The image above is something I see quite often in our school. Kids working in groups in the hallways, older students with younger ones. As a school principal this tells me a couple of things instantly. First, the teacher is not stuck in the traditional mode of instruction; students are allowed to be out of their desk and there is some variation in day-to-day activities in the classroom. Also, that connecting students is important so we can learn from each other.
As technology gets used more frequently, we are expanding the connections we make with students to a global level. This is extremely exciting work and can help motivate students, while increasing the number of quality learning opportunities as well.
With this in mind, I also believe that we should not forget about the connections and learning opportunities available in our own buildings. As pictured above, we frequently promote learning opportunities that bring older and younger students together. As a K-12 school, having the gr.11 and 12 students work with grade 1’s, 2’s, etc. is a great home field advantage. We just did this with Family Literacy Day this week. The younger students love having the older ones working with them, and as one of my teachers stated, the younger ones literally think the older students “walk on water.”
No matter the grade configuration in a school, match the younger with the older. Learning and leadership can both be developed.
This post can also be found on Connected Principals.