About four years ago, Victor Primary School started holding communitywide or whole school morning meetings led by the principal. At first, they were a way to bring everyone in the school together in one place, something rarely accomplished on a regular basis due to the size of the building. From learning something new to just having a little fun, these meetings were developed to help children see they are part of a community larger than their classroom.
These sessions are based on responsive meetings held in classrooms every morning and have four components: greeting, sharing, activity and message.
At the start of the 2017-18 school year, a group of staff members explored ways to add a new component to that meeting formula: student leaders. By the end of the year, children were leading parts of the meeting.
This year, student involvement grew with whole classes taking over meetings in the fall. Third-graders completed applications to be part of the Meeting Masters planning team in December 2018. These children meet two times each month to plan meetings. They pick the theme, write the script, do the marketing and advertising around the school, run the audio visual, lead the greeting and activity, and write and read the message. Other classrooms sign up to lead the sharing component, a segment that allows them to share what they are learning in school. Besides adults helping with the planning teams, the meetings are run by students.
Meeting themes have been centered around joy, resolutions, and being positive and learning from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message.
March’s theme was to show appreciation to people in the community. In this session, students selected the VCS Transportation Department to show their gratitude. All department members were invited to attend the meeting and the children planned for a time to acknowledge them.
Principal Jennifer Check said the new student-led meeting formula is a success on many levels.
“Children really seem to enjoy seeing other kids at the helm,” she said. “They get excited about how they can be a part of leading one in the future.”