Reverse the roles at your school so students do the jobs of staff members.
The staff at your school could use some support! To prepare for the event, recruit student volunteers and ask for staff members from all job types (teachers, custodians, office staff, lunch staff, etc.) to sign up for help from students. Match the jobs list with the volunteers, and gather any needed supplies.
On the day of the event, coordinate student volunteers through their tasks. Make sure all the staff “clients” are happy with their work!
After the work is done, host a discussion about what the students learned from their work and how empathy and understanding can make for a more connected and supportive school.
Tips & Suggestions:
- During the discussion, ask how participants how to continuously improve relationships between staff and students.
- Research has shown that cooperative group work can lead to reduced levels of bullying and improved conflict resolution abilities (Johnson & Johnson, 2004).
- Studies show that volunteering and helping others improves your own happiness (Dunn, Aknin & Norton, 2008).
- Positive relationships between the students and adults in a school lead to higher levels of student engagement and better learning outcomes (Skinner & Belmont, 1993).