What Is Peer Group?
Welcome to Peer Group! You are about to begin working in a unique program at the Glenbrook Schools. It has been a part of The Glenbrook High Schools since l974 and continues to grow stronger every year.
As a Peer Group leader, you will usually be working with a small group of freshmen, helping them to make the adjustment from junior high to high school and to feel more confident and comfortable at Glenbrook. There are many things you can do to help. First, because you are an upperclassman, you "know the ropes" and can talk with the freshmen from a student's point of view. Even though they may have heard the same things before, from teachers, counselors or parents, somehow it sounds more convincing coming from another student.
Secondly, a Peer Group leader is a special kind of upperclassman. A Peer Group leader has been identified, by students, teachers or counselors, as someone who is a good listener, cares about others and is trusted by others. Because you are a person who listens to others and cares about them, freshmen will be more likely to ask you about things that are puzzling them. They will also realize that there are older students at Glenbrook who are friendly and "on their side." This will make the school atmosphere seem less forbidding and more comfortable.
A third thing that you, as a Peer Group leader, can do is to help freshmen get to know others in their class. Because groups of freshmen are selected at random, each freshman is likely to be in a group with others that he does not know. Peer Group provides a good opportunity for freshmen to meet students from other junior highs, to break out of old "cliques" and to make new friends.
Finally, as a Peer Group leader, you set an example for freshmen. It is well-known that young people between the ages of 13 and 15 are very much influenced by their peers, perhaps more at that age than at any other time in their lives. Because you are someone close to their age who has a basically positive attitude toward yourself and others, freshmen may want to "pattern" themselves after you, and thus strive toward positive, rather than negative, attitudes in their own lives.
Goals For Peer Group Leaders
To develop leadership skills
1. By learning group leadership skills.
- to evaluate and plan group meetings;
- to encourage the active participation of group members;
- to encourage cooperation and develop cohesion in a group; and
- to work cooperatively with another person to co-lead a group.
2. By using the decision-making process as a model for helping.
- to understand the importance of personal goals and values in behavior; and
- to learn the decision-making process.
3. By learning how to communicate with others.
- to express thoughts and feelings to others; and
- to be responsive to the thoughts and feelings of others