Once students enter high school, they may often become frustrated over a standard school routine. Often, this is nothing against the classes or teachers. Instead, it is over wanting to gain more independence and freedom. Instead of fighting against this desire, teachers can use it to create amazing projects. For instance, beginning high school and elementary school buddies will be a project both ages love!
What are High School Buddies?
High school buddies form when students in high school are partnered up with a student in elementary school. By doing this, the high school students feel like caring adults. They can develop a caring relationship with someone younger than them. Thus, the high school student becomes a role model for a younger student.
Benefits of High School and Elementary School Buddies
Ultimately, high school and elementary school buddies create a positive school culture. Additionally, there are many key benefits to forming these powerful relationships.
- Social Skills: Elementary students learn how to open up and work with students who are older than them. Truly, this helps students learn how to welcome a new student into the district or make friends with someone new.
- Work Skills: When there is a high school buddy in the classroom, it is like the teacher having another aide. However, each high school buddy is paired with one elementary student. Thus, the older student can help the younger one through a complex math lesson or science experiment!
- Increased Self-Esteem: When younger students feel accepted by a high school students, their self esteem greatly increases! Truly, elementary students feel so special and cared for when they have the support of a high school student. Additionally, the high school students feel protective of the younger students. Due to this, they feel proud of their role as a buddy and look forward to working together. Thus, self-esteem and peer acceptance greatly increase for both buddies!
- Special Attention: Students are going through so much outside of the classroom. Whether experiencing a rough home life or having parental pressure for academics/athletics, everyone has a lot going on. Thankfully, the high school and elementary school buddies program creates special attention for all involved. For instance, the elementary students feel cared for by an older student and look forward to time together. The high school student feels proud at becoming a role model and looks forward to this bonding time together.
Project Ideas for High School and Elementary School Buddies
As high school students and elementary students get to know each other, they feel more comfortable working together. Thus, great projects can be added to the classroom with these special bonds.
- Reading Help: Many times, elementary students need extra support when working on reading skills. This may be decoding unknown words, following along, or understanding the meaning. However, providing this important one-on-one help can be challenging when there is one teacher and twenty-some students. Thankfully, high school buddies can sit and read with their elementary buddy! Truly, this is a great way to form a relationship while allowing the older buddy to provide reading help.
- Monthly Meetings: In order for the high school and elementary school buddies to develop a bond, they need time to work together. Thus, my seniors have monthly meetings with their second grade buddies. During this time, they complete a variety of activities to keep this time helpful yet exciting! For instance, some spend time reading while other work on math.
- Walks around Campus: Sometimes, a buddy just needs a little break. For instance, a high school buddy may be overwhelmed with life choices and just need time to enjoy the moment. Or, the elementary buddy may be struggling with friends or being away from home. Thus, buddies may just need a walk around campus. They can have time to talk and reduce some of the stress they are feeling. Additionally, this is a great time to make the elementary buddy even more comfortable with the school!
- Crafts: Elementary students love to celebrate holidays! However, this can be a TON of work for an elementary teacher to manage! Since it can be challenging to bring in parent volunteers, teachers can utilize the high school buddies! For instance, the students can help with Halloween crafts and making Valentine’s for veterans. Furthemore, high school buddies can help ensure that all holiday parties run smoothly and safety.
What do I love about the experience?
High school and elementary school buddies can provide an experience that neither person will forget. For elementary students, they have an older student they look up to. This is a person they can talk to and who can provide academic help. For high school students, they become role models. Whether talking about life, feelings, or academics, the high school students sees how important they are to the younger ones. Ultimately, high school and elementary school buddies create an unbreakable bond!
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