Imagine having to give a 30 minute presentation in front of your whole school? Also imagine that students could choose to come and watch your presentation or not. Speaking in front of a crowd is hard enough but then to have the added pressure of wondering if anyone will want to come and watch you and that the audience could include students from any upper elementary grade brings on a whole new level of difficulty. That is the challenge over 50 Pinewood 3rd-6th grade students tried last Friday at Pinewood. Students applied to teach sessions to their peers that would last thirty minutes. The knew that students could choose to attend any session they wanted to and that a teacher would be in the room but that all of the leading and teaching would be done by them. These students also did not have any time in school to prepare for their session they did it all on their own time. In spite of all of these challenges our students did an AWESOME job! They had really engaging sessions that their classmates loved. They used strategies they had watched their own teachers do to quiet down their group or get their attention. It was so much fun to watch them move into those teacher/leader roles it really allowed our students to shine. I think about myself in elementary school and wonder if I would have been courageous enough to present and I am not sure if I would have been able to do it. I was also so proud of our student participants they were so kind and respectful to their classmates that were presenting, they did their best to be great audience members and to encourage and support their classmates.
I’m so grateful to our wonderful Pinewood staff members who have helped teach students the skills they would need to be leaders with their classmates and also the skills they would need to be kind and understanding with each other. This was such a great illustration of the qualities we value and prioritize at Pinewood; leadership, risk taking, innovation, respect, responsibility, kindness, and inclusivity.