The Boys' Latin Peer Education
faculty team believes that part of the training includes preparing
the peer educators both emotionally and intellectually to present
the lessons. Thus, the training for peer educators not only involves
content preparation (e.g., teaching methodology, alcohol and other
drug information, etc.) but also focuses on process issues (e.g.,
experiential learning, reflecting on their own decisions, etc.).
If the peer educators are more aware of the processes that affect
their decisions, then they will be better prepared to teach younger
students about these influences.
In addition, another goal of
the training process is to increase the peer educators’ appreciation
for the task at hand—educating younger students about a subject
matter that is not necessarily cut and dry, making decisions. The
peer educators are reminded not to prescribe the decisions for the
younger students. The peer educators’ goal is to challenge
the attitudes that limit the younger students and to offer healthy
options as viable and acceptable ones. An effective peer educator
gets the younger students thinking of the options that they have.
Training for the peer educators occurs primarily
during the fall semester of each school year. After the peer educators
have been invited to join the program, the students and faculty
team meet for three half-day in-school training sessions. The two-night
retreat follows the half-day sessions. The team leaves for the retreat
on a Saturday morning and returns to school on a Monday afternoon.
Within a few weeks of the retreat, the peer
educators begin to enter the 6th grade classes in teams of three
to present their assigned lessons. The teams are assigned to meet
with one faculty meeting for on-going training, supervision, and
lesson preparation. During the spring semester, the entire group
of peer educators meets with the faculty team once each team has
presented its first lesson for review. The final meeting of the
year involves a review of the year, evaluation of the training,
and recommendations for next year’s peer educators.