ILearn more about how they get to practice and teach conflict resolution!
About the Peer Mediator Group:
I believe in student leadership and have spent a lot of time preparing the students to take on the role of being peer mediators. It is really helpful for students to learn about conflict resolution. Interested students had to fill out a three page application to become a peer mediator. They had to go through a round of interviews and have their teachers write them letters of recommendation! Once I selected the group of students who would be doing this, I had them do some intensive training. They had training every single day during DEAR and lunch time for 4 weeks. Their parents had to sign permission slips for them because if they missed class, the students had to be responsible for their work and grades. Student leadership and ownership is important in middle school-- I am grateful that I have a group that wants to learn and give back in a positive way.
A recent interview with the mediators:
Tell me more about your role as a peer mediator?
Abby Lewis: “ We help kids that have problems with other kids at school. Like if two kids had an argument, they can come to us and we help them figure it out and reach a solution so that the issue is resolved. We also give them a safe space to talk about these issues and I think it’s really helpful to them.”
Valeria Lara: “ As a peer mediator we talk to students that have issues with other peers and we help them fix it. We also teach them skills about how to better resolve issues that come up later- so we are teaching them how to approach an issue in the future without our help.”
Why do you think it's important to have peer mediators?
Dalia Garcia: “I think it's important because kids might not want to talk to adults. They might feel like they don't understand them as well as we might.”
Veronica Leon: “I think it's important because it's helpful to both of the students having the conflict. They are able to talk about the issue with someone who is in the same age range. Students also know they have someone that will be there to listen and support them at school, so they don’t feel alone.”
What's your favorite thing about being a peer mediator?
Malani Garcia: “ My favorite thing about this is that you can go home knowing that you helped someone. Not only that, but you don't have to worry about someone going home feeling sad or angry. As a community, we all need to help each other. We all have a role to help others.”
Christian Fernandez: “I think that the best part is knowing that you helped someone, but it’s also really cool wearing the shirts! It makes us feel empowered to know we are leaders and mediators on campus.”
How do your classmates benefit from this program?
Belen Islas: “ Students benefit from this because they feel safe at school. We help prevent a lot of bullying issues from happening.”
Maria Jimenez: “ I feel that they have someone they can trust and talk to and feel safe with.”
Abby: “ I think that students feel they are in a safe space and know that they won’t get into a ton of trouble when they talk to us as opposed to talking to an adult on campus.”