Student Leadership: Class Meetings

8 Steps to Successful Class Meetings

1. Form a Circle
A circle creates an atmosphere in which win-win solutions can take place and everyone has an equal right to speak. It allows everyone to see everyone else. It reminds student that the class meeting is a different and special part of their school experience.

2. Practice Compliments and Appreciations
This starts the class meeting on a positive note and boosts self-esteem.

3. Create an Agenda
Set up a notebook for agenda items. Practice class meetings with "relationship building" agendas before attempting problem solving.

4. Develop Communication Skills
Take turns, use an object that can be passed from student to student. Use open-ended questions, clarify/summarize and encourage. Avoid judgment and create an atmosphere of respect.

5. Learn about Separate Realities
Teachers often act as though all children should hear them exactly the same way: understand and accept that people may have a separate reality so they will respond differently to the same information.

6. Recognize the Reason People do What They Do
People need to meet their basic needs of fun, freedom, power and love/belonging.

7. Practice Role Playing and Brainstorming
Role-play appropriate brainstorming.

8. Focus on Non-punitive Solutions
People do better when they feel better!