Senior Mentoring Program
From One Generation To Another
Teacher teaches student, student learns from teacher. That’s how things usually run don’t they? Ever heard of a student teaches student approach? Aimed at involving students at not only being the receivers of instruction, but also the deliverers of the instruction, Independent Islamic-faithed school Al-Amanah College, has continued with its ‘Senior Peer Mentoring Program’ for the third year in a row. The program aims to involve the school’s senior students in guiding their junior peers in morning roll call sessions and giving them motivational advice, study tips and guidance on establishing S.M.A.R.T goals. Since 2019, senior students have been given the opportunity to enhance their own learning as they take ownership of their own learning as well as engage students in meaningful interactions.
The introduction of the Senior Peer Mentoring Program supports the College’s intent to create a school atmosphere that is positive and compassionate. In light of recent events involving the ‘work-from home’ period of learning, the “students teaching students” model encourages cooperation and understanding, aiming to re-establish lost connections and to fill learning gaps that may have surfaced in this time. Students learn to help each other and empower one another, rather than putting students down in order to compensate for their insecurities. They do not only reap the academic benefits, but they also reap social and emotional benefits.
Since 2019, senior students at Al Amanah have been working towards actively assisting the junior students set SMART goals and manage daily homework tasks and formal assessments. Senior students also work closely with junior classes to educate them about the importance of mental health and to advise them about various coping mechanisms they can make use of to handle the stress associated with high school study. Students have also assisted in giving advice on building friendships and positive networks and have worked on developing resources to use in their sessions.
Through weekly training workshops, senior cohorts are prepared for their mentoring sessions by working through communication strategies taught by secondary school co-ordinator. These include assisting mentors to gain important skills in mentoring such as goal setting, identifying personality strengths and weaknesses and how to give criticism so that they can become effective and successful mentors.
“During a time where my mind was preoccupied with the pressure and stress of the HSC, my peer mentoring session allowed me a time to envision myself as the student in front of me and assume the characteristics best fitted to be their role model”
A former student reflects,
As I discussed the concept of a S.M.A.R.T goal to my group of year 7 students, I inwardly realised that the daily goals I was setting myself were not realistically attainable and that it was causing me more pressure than productivity
Students who have mastered their time management skills and have learnt to take responsibility for their own learning successfully, now assume the role of a teacher providing insight to the students who are still struggling with the secondary workload and trying to transition from primary school. In the meantime, the peer teacher solidifies their own understanding of the material. Al Amanah expects that, through this program, students appreciate that the process of acquiring academic organisational skills as well as essential social skills is a constant loop of learning and teaching.
Al Amanah’s new Senior Peer Mentoring Program will make sure its students are part of the important process of driving good and growth amongst the school body, passing down reciprocated respect, benefit and success, generation to generation.