Here you will find writings that give some insight into Trinity’s programs.

Peer to Peer Program

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 in

 

In the Peer to Peer leadership program the developing peer leaders work in teams of four. These teams visit a transition classroom six times over the school year and deliver a one period long workshop. During this workshop each Peer Leader mentors a small group ( up to eight students) within that class both in theatre and art-based exercises on different themes and issues and the small group talking circles of the workshops.

Each of the workshops has three basic parts: Part One a rapport building exercise, Part Two an experiential exercise on a theme or issue, Part Three small group talking circles.

The following six workshop themes and issues are core to the program because they relate significantly to the younger students’ social/emotional development upon entering high school: Respect, Values and Issues in Community, Handling Conflict, Assertiveness, Gender Identity/Harassment, and Substance Abuse.

The workshops are also a ‘stage’ on which to establish genuine contact between peers in social/emotional terms. As the exercises and talking circles of the workshop are being done, opportunities arise for sharing anecdotes, stories of our experiences of life etc. In their exchange participants feel they have been ‘recognized’ by another person, and positively valued. This nurturing of our innate resilience makes both peer leader and transition student feel enabled to undertake engagement with both personal challenges and their community.

The development of participants’ innate resilience, strengthening of their learning capacity, and the increasing of social capital in the school community as a whole, are the primary goals of the Peer Leadership program.

Peer Leadership Pt. 2

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 in

 

Peer Leadership is very different from other forms of leadership.

All leaders arise because of significant personal skills and accomplishments- things such as positive communication and being able to express their ideas, sensitivity to the needs of others, ability to work with others, humility in their character to name a few.

But they also become leaders because of the social contexts they find themselves in- and in fact those contexts play a large role in the shaping of their skills.

In the past there were two social contexts that contributed to the development of leadership. The first was race/ ethnicity. This would appear to be the primary social context of leaders in the past. While leaders were always unique they also provided a focal point to their people often representing what their race deemed best about themselves or what they wished to be.

In the second most common context leaders arose around a cause, and often were effective only as long as the cause remained unachieved. In this case the leaders ability to either express or exemplify the cause was critical to the leader’s success.

Peer leadership is leadership between peers in diversity. As such it can claim neither the charisma of ethnic based leadership nor the passion of a cause, as its primary motivating principle.

A peer leader leads by negotiation and persuasion- and must be much more community focused than previous leaders in their ethnic or cause contexts.

In fact this leadership finds its strength in convincing others to help themselves, to become more self reliant, and more conscious of public process.

This makes Peer Leadership radically different from other forms of leadership, and ideally suited to our more diverse communities.

Peer Leadership

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 in

In Trinity’s Peer Leadership programs, senior students are trained to become Peer Leaders. As such they mentor transition students new to high school, work with “at-risk students” who are struggling with engagement at school, and mediate disputes between students as an alternative to suspension.

In this series we will talk about the Peer to Peer mentoring program. In this program Peer Leaders mentor students new to high school throughout their first crucial year. This is done primarily by holding a series of monthly interactive workshops that address transition students concerns and developing literacy on issues such as handling conflict, bullying and harassment, while developing assertiveness, managing stress and fostering healthy coping behaviours.

Both the Peer Leaders and the younger transition students gain confidence, feel increasingly valued and empowered as they become more engaged in school, are more likely to get involved in extra-curricular activities, and take on various leadership roles in their school and community.

These benefits occur because the workshops provide a “stage” on which the students develop genuine contact with one another in social/emotional terms. As the exercises and talking circles of each workshop are being done, opportunities arise for sharing anecdotes, opinions, stories of our experiences of life etc. In their exchange participants feel they have been ‘recognized’ by another person and positively valued. This nurturing of our resilience makes both Peer Leader and younger transition student feel enabled to undertake engagement with both school, personal challenges, and their community.

This practice of Peer Leadership in fact provides the basis for a new vision of leadership between peers in a diverse society.