What is a Peer Mediation?
Let me start by saying that this is an opportunity for every parent to be proud of their child for “talking it out”. As you may be aware, we have a Peer Mediation program in our school where we have 8 student selected and trained mediators who are available to help children with their everyday squabbles with peers. To keep small disagreements from escalating, the children learn the responsibility of communicating any concerns and listening to both sides of the story. These are strong problem solving skills for the future and often give kids a voice they are not sure they had.
There are a few simple steps to a Peer Mediation:
- Students need to agree that there is a small problem and agree to solve it.
- They need to follow the rules as the peer mediators listen to both sides of the story.
- The children brainstorm ways to solve the problem and will AGREE on solutions that will benefit all.
- The children sign the agreement, like a contract, and it stays in my office. (Some children may request a copy to go home)
- The children shake hands and are praised for their hard work and honesty.
- The peer mediators check-in with the students to make sure the agreement is being used.
Parents, by NO MEANS does this mean your child is in trouble. Although I am in the room, I try to sit quiet and let them talk it out. Children are not pulled out of instructional time, this is during unstructured time only. This is NOT an attempt to make people friends who are not friends. This is for friends who want to remain friends and work out a problem. Sometimes this empowers children to speak up to someone they normally don’t feel comfortable. If there is ever a serious issue or bullying involved, I handle it uniquely and at a different level.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE PROGRAM!