This week’s outing focused on building proper communication skills for friendships and relationships. The outing started off by coaches pairing off with the students and were then assigned a scenario by the head coach--these scenarios ranged from asking a bus driver to stop or having a conversation with a parent during breakfast. The coach and student picked their roles and acted out the scenario then switched roles. After each pair was comfortable with each scenario, the skits were presented to the class. This activity was a fun way to bond with the students more and understand what the students would do/say in specific situations. In the next activity, students and coaches broke into two groups to access appropriate and inappropriate conversations. Given a poster board and glue, the appropriate dialogue such as “may I please borrow your pencil?” was posted onto the appropriate poster while the inappropriate dialogue such as “I hate your dress” was posted onto the inappropriate poster. Breaking off into smaller groups, it was a lot easier to hear each student and realize their preexisting knowledge. They were very entertained by some of the funny dialogue we had in there as well!
Our first visit with Monday’s cohort was warmly welcomed! We began by reintroducing ourselves and building connections with our new students. Each student was encouraged to create an “About Me” poster that described him/herself. This activity was a great way to break the ice as both coaches and students were given the opportunity to learn about one another. We also named our classroom mascot — a stuffed monkey we named Billy — and passed him around as speakers volunteered to share unique qualities they were proud of about themselves. This induced a self-affirming environment that welcomed active contributions. Despite initial hesitation, almost all of our classroom soon had something personal to share. Even though we had several nonverbal students, the class was highly eager to participate and engage with each other.