Students Guiding Students

I’ve blogged numerous times before about student leadership. George Couros and Shawn Ram are two amazing administrators from Alberta that have inspired me to give my students more leadership opportunities in the school. Last week, I realized just how much students can lead. Not only can they lead, but they can guide each other!

Last Thursday, my class hosted a radio show on 105 the Hive to discuss the books they read for Thinking Thursdays. Usually I monitor the discussion in the Today’sMeet and Twitter backchannels, and ask the radio show hosts questions that come out of these backchannel discussions. This time though, I had a student volunteer (Delaney) that asked if she could do it. She used the iPad to watch both the Today’sMeet Room and the Tweetstream. Reading through the questions, she picked ones that she thought would elicit them most discussion, and she asked the student radio show hosts the questions. She helped facilitate the discussion and guide the conversation. This gave me an opportunity to sit down with other groups of students, talk to them about their reading, and assist them with their written responses.

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A Pencast Of Our 105 the Hive Radio Show

I’m so glad that Delaney asked to fill this leadership role, and I will definitely get other students to do so for future radio shows. Maybe Delaney can train the next leader, so that the students can lead together and really take ownership over this radio show literacy project. How have you used student leadership to not just lead but guide instruction?


4 thoughts on “Students Guiding Students

  1. Aviva, your post is so timely! Today at my school (Stony Plain Central School) our grade 9s and split 3/4 class were doing some cross-graded activities. They were doing some Christmas crafts. The great part was that the grade 9 students had to come up with the craft, bring the supplies, instruct the younger children on how to do it and guide them as they went. The grade 3/4 students then did peer evaluations on the activities and instruction they completed with the older kids. When I walked in during my prep to check it out, I was amazed and the leadership the grade 9s showed. They were poised, firm, caring, professional and kind.

  2. Marci, what a fantastic story! I love how their was a meaningful activities for both the Grade 9’s and the Grade 3/4’s. It’s incredible what students can do when we give them the opportunities to do so!


  3. I love both of your stories, Aviva and Marci! Students can absolutely be powerful leaders and mentors when given the opportunity and the tools for success. Through watching you previously model how to effectively facilitate the discussion, Aviva, your student was able to do it. It also feels like you’ve built a strong classroom community which encourages students to take risks. And I think all the preplanning and prepping you did with your students prior to the event most likely contributed towards it being such a success, Marci. Successful students still need effective teachers, which is my big take away from this. You both very effectively faciitated “something” that made these great stories possible! Kudos to you!

    • Thanks for the comment, Diane! I think that you made a great point that I hadn’t really thought of before. Modelling matters. We need to show students how to be effective leaders, and then give them the chance to do so. Thank you for reminding me of this!


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