The Camden-Rockport Middle School invited Hyde School back this week to lead almost 100 7th grade students through the second installment of Know Yourself – Be Yourself, Hyde’s outreach program to encourage leadership and self-discovery in middle school students.
39 Hyde students, mostly juniors and seniors, spent the morning of December 9th leading activities and discussions aimed at engaging the 7th graders with their deeper selves and each other. The participants experienced Hyde’s tried and true Who Am I? and trust fall activities as well as rousing games of Yee Haw that allow everyone, even the middle school teachers, to “get out of themselves.”
The teachers at Camden-Rockport Middle School admired the Hyde students’ maturity, engagement and caring. The 7th graders said a big “Thank You!” for the Hyde students’ leadership and for their openness. One 7th grade girl was heard to say, “you are my 7th grade best friend, but she is my Hyde best friend.”
The KY-BY program would not work without the consistent leadership from a large group of Hyde seniors who value the opportunity to work with their classmates to lead younger students. In addition, the KY-BY program provides a handful of students, the “unusual suspects,” with an opportunity to experience camaraderie with their peers while practicing leadership in a context where they are truly needed and respected by younger kids. The workshops work because these Hyde students work – hard – to wrangle, instruct, and nurture middle school students in Maine.
The Hyde students not only give of their time and energy while facilitating, they also receive a great deal in return. Here is what the Hyde students had to say about the value of KY-BY for themselves:
“Practicing leadership with a different age group helps build my confidence”
“I came into this expecting it to be boring and that I would just have to deal with it. But after meeting the kids and doing the first activity, I realized how much fun I was having. Doing this today made me see the leadership inside of me that I thought was slipping away. I had a lot of fun and the kids were great.”
“This experience brought back some memories and gave me a chance to help kids be ready for the experiences ahead of them.”
“I value learning about how I teach and lead others. I think the kids learned a lot about their peers.”
“This gave me confidence in doing things in which I am not comfortable. I also realize I love working with kids.”
“I came here to be a teacher and a leader, but I learned a lot about myself too.”
“I learned to trust myself as a leader.”
CLICK HERE to learn how you can bring this workshop to your school or community.