Monday, October 28, 2013

Lee Mediators - Part 2

Our second lesson in being a mediator began with reviewing what we discussed last time about conflict and the feelings associated with conflict.  I also reiterated that as mediators, we will help groups of students solve their conflict with a win/win.

I started by handing out a large index card to each student.  In the middle of each card I had them write their name, large and legible.  In the bottom left corner, I had them write how they usually deal with conflict.  In the top left corner, I had them write 3 words that describe how they felt today.  In the top right corner, I had them write something they hope to learn as a Lee Mediator.  Finally, in the bottom right corner, I had the write how they want others to treat them and how they are willing to treat others.  Here is an example of the layout:

Afterward, I asked students to move around the room holding their card in front of them so that others could read their information.  They were to do this without speaking to each other.  After they spent a few seconds with one classmate, they were to move on to another until they have interacted with everyone.

We processed this activity with the following questions:
  • How many of you found it difficult to be silent during this activity?
  • What makes it difficult not to talk?
  • How do we most often communicate, with words or without words?
  • What did you learn about each other from the cards?
  • How can you use this in mediation?
Students realized that by silently reading the information, they really "listened" to others opinions and ideas - rather than thinking of how to respond in their own minds.  They also were surprised to see what they had in common with other students when handling conflict.

Next we created an Expectations chart to share what we each wanted to learn about mediation by sharing the top right corner of their index card:

Finally we created a Norms chart to share what behaviors would allow them to feel comfortable and safe by using the bottom right corner of their index card:

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