The training of Friends School peer educators begins in late September
or early October with an intensive overnight retreat led by faculty
which is mandatory for all peer educators. After initial icebreakers
and team building exercises we discuss the history of peer education
and what it means to be a peer educator at Friends including responsibilities
and expectations. We discuss what it was like to be a 5th and 8th
grader and talk about the art of teaching and how to manage classroom
behavior. The remaining time is spent on fine-tuning or reworking
lesson plans and breaking into teams to practice lessons.
The peer educators are selected by faculty and administrators from
the entire student body (grades 9-12). The attempt is to choose
students who represent a cross section of the community and would
be good teachers and authentic role models, “real kids”
who want to be involved and are not just using it as a resume builder.
Friends School does not feel it is mandatory for peer educators
to be “non-users” but they must be a positive role model
and committed to the integrity of the program.
Friends School offers a total of 5 lessons both in the 5th and
8th grade. The first lesson is in November, the second in December,
the third in March and the fourth in April. The last lesson for
both grades is a transition to middle and upper school respectively.
The Sunday night before every lesson we meet as a group and review
the lesson material. We divide into teams and discuss specifically
how the lesson will be taught (how and if we break the kids into
groups, who will begin and how to proceed).