Upper school students stepped into their teachers' shoes when playing key instructor roles in the annual Lower School Outdoor School (ODS). To say the least, every upper and lower School teacher, as well as lower school students, were excited and impressed by the creative lessons that were planned and executed by the upper school students.
To prepare for the classes that they would teach to their lower school peers, upper school students spent the majority of the trimester learning and applying facilitation skills. Before students worked with the lower schoolers, they facilitated a variety of lessons for their upper school peers. Lessons that were taught included slacklining, obstacle courses, quidditch, lacrosse, tower building, and a variety of team building initiatives. Students taught each lesson twice, which allowed them to refine their lessons based off of their own and others' feedback, ultimately creating lessons that were creative, intentional, and engaging.
All of the skills the students gained through teaching their peers were clearly seen at the Lower School ODS. Bill Alsdurf, Lower School Head, requested that the upper schoolers be part of ODS in the coming years. When reflecting on the upper school participation, Mr. Alsdurf commented:
"Having our upper school students participate in ODS this year not only offered them the chance to step into the shoes of their teachers and friends in our community, but I loved that they saw first hand all of the experiential learning in the lower school."
Upper school students impressed every teacher present at Outdoor School. Students confidently taught four year olds how to make survival bracelets, encouraged kindergarteners and fifth graders to work together in parachute games, and asked all students to think creatively when boat building. Although they worked hard to develop facilitation skills throughout the trimester, it was obvious last week that our students are natural leaders.
-Hattie Tehan, US Leadership & Expedition Teacher