Classroom Stories · Social Health

Empowering Leadership

One of the things we do in our weekly class meetings is entertain new ideas and suggestions for the class to undertake. Sometimes the kids propose special fun days or class parties, or sometimes they propose new initiatives, like a school newspaper. When the class listens to these student-generated ideas and participates in fleshing out their plans, it’s a powerful and easy way of fostering leadership, initiative, and collaboration.

A recent proposal was for a “Tea Duel.” I was not hip enough to know what that was, but they explained that it comes from the steampunk, cosplay arena. Basically, as they explained it, it’s dressing up and having tea and biscuits. There is some timed biscuit-dunking and biscuit-holding, and one loses when one’s biscuit crumbles first.

Tea and cookies. Why not?

This evolved into an elaborate afternoon event, with a costume contest, etiquette lessons, some historical contexts, and role-playing. The kids organized and facilitated everything! All I had to do was postpone our watercolor class, find a good costume, and enjoy my tea!


The three in front were our fabulous organizers!




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