For the last two months, Fourth Grade students have been training to be Playground Peacemakers for our Lower School peer mediation program at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis. Training all of our Fourth Graders in this process allows us to further define with them and put into action the leadership qualities we’ve cultivated with them throughout the year. This training process provides opportunities to help every student to continue to hone critical thinking skills, communication and listening skills. These Lower School Leaders are excited to share and model these skills with their younger peers on the playground.
Through special training, Peacemakers have learned how to help peers resolve non-physical conflicts in positive ways when they arise during playground time. Typical conflicts that students may help resolve include name-calling, “cutting” in line, difficulties with sharing, squabbles in games or over equipment, and friendship problems. When two children have a dispute on the playground, they may voluntarily seek the Peacemakers’ help. Following the Peace Path process, two Peacemakers then step in and make sure each person can tell his/her side of the story. The Peacemakers assist students in “brainstorming” constructive ways to solve problems.
We have trained our Peacemakers so they feel confident and thoroughly knowledgeable about this process. The Peacemakers never serve as disciplinarians, judges, or monitors of others’ behavior. Rather, through their actions and examples, the Peacemakers contribute to the cooperative and peaceful school community we strive for at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis. The Lower School staff is excited about and supports this program and its implementation, as well as the potential it holds for our students and school community.
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