I started going to the peace education workshops (sponsored by World Citizen) three years ago. The workshops have inspired me to develop a leadership curriculum. The first year I developed eight activities that I presented to my students. Last year, we did 36 different activities together. Students kept a leadership notebook, which they would write a personal reflection about the activity. This year I am going to continue my leadership work, and have got some interest from my 6th grade team members. I am also going to start sending material to other six grade teachers in my district (Hopkins) and in St. Louis Park. The activities cover a variety of topics including developing personal strength, improving self-concept, conflict resolution, learning styles and leadership skills. I use a variety of media including books that I bought at the Peace Ed conferences, YouTube, music, DVDs, art, dance, guitar, drumming, and chants.
Has it made a difference in my student's lives? My classroom is still a violent place. I hear words and see actions that no one should see. But I am one clear voice in their lives that is pointing them in another direction. "You can be a leader. You can stand away from the crowd and make your own choices. You have personal power and can say "No", when a bully calls. Thank you, World Citizen for keeping the peace education program funded.
6th Grade Teacher