Seamlessly Integrating Leadership and Citizenship
In the span of less than one week, the Middle School community has been involved in several hands-on learning experiences in and out of the classroom that embraced aspects of leading self and leading others, two tenets of Ravenscroft’s leadership and citizenship framework.
Sixth grade hosted its fifth Ravens: CSI experience last week, which put kids in the role of crime scene investigators who solved a mystery written in class. For several hours, kids were the teachers as parents and guests rotated through several crime scene labs, all designed to demonstrate aspects of forensic science. This experience required sixth graders to focus on personal development and collaboration with others, as they honed their specific parts of the presentation, planned with their peers, and facilitated activities for parents and guests. Comments heard included, “This was awesome!” and “I wish we did this type of thing when I was in school.”
This past Tuesday, seventh graders dressed to resemble characters from The Outsiders. After completing a novel study, students engaged in the dress and mannerisms of either the Greasers or the Socs. S.E. Hinton’s iconic rite of passage novel has long been a staple in American middle schools, as it so deftly parallels the experiences young adolescents face, regardless of the decade. Certainly, there was great opportunity for students to explore aspects of self and others as they analyzed character traits and actions and reflected on what it means to be part of a group.
Coincidentally, Tuesday was National Mix-it-Up Day, an effort designed to break down barriers between social groups and encourage tolerance of others’ beliefs. At Ravenscroft, however, we move beyond tolerance to respect, one of the traits on our Character Tree. In advisory, students wrote examples on paper bricks of behaviors that reflected intolerance or lack of respect, creating a “Wall of Intolerance.” On Tuesday, we “tore down the wall” as each student selected a brick to spark conversation at lunch, which was eaten in small groups that included sixth through eighth graders. SGA co-presidents and Ravens Ambassadors were sprinkled throughout each group to help facilitate, as needed. Developing self-awareness? Learning to work with others in a respectful and inclusive community? Yes, indeed!