Gililland Middle School Creating Lifelong Problem-Solvers
Gililland Middle School is creating lifelong problem-solvers, one peer mediation training at a time.
When conflict between students arises, instead of sitting them down with a principal or another adult to solve the problem, Gililland uses a peer mediation program. Peer mediation involves a trained student mediator sitting down with the disputants to work out a positive, peaceful solution to the conflict. This system was introduced at Gililland 29 years ago by Counselor Kevin Crane, and it has had tremendous success on the campus.
“The goal is to empower students to solve their own problems, and to really become lifelong problem-solvers,” said Crane. “Middle school students are more receptive when hearing things from other kids their age than from adults.”
In the last school year at Gililland, 183 documented mediations took place. Out of that number, just five were unsuccessful at resolving the conflict. That is a 97 percent success rate. This year, Gililland has over 50 trained peer mediators at their school.
For Gililland eighth-grade student Ezra Ramos, getting to assist in peer mediations is a highlight of her day.
“It feels good to help people solve issues,” said Ramos. “I have learned a lot about what it takes to solve a conflict through the peer mediation training.”
Crane and fellow Gililland Counselor Tamara Lewis held their annual training at the Sanchez Administration Building on October 24. Due to the success at Gililland, Connolly Middle School students are joining the program, and will begin implementing it on their campus this year.
The reach of the peer mediation training goes past Tempe Elementary. A former Connolly Middle School counselor also attended this year’s training. After seeing how successful it was at Gililland, she plans to implement it at her district.
“These skills our student ambassadors are learning will last a lifetime,” said Lewis, adding that the students were nominated by their teachers for the program, and also help with student tours, setting up for events, and other volunteer opportunities that help the community.
Our hope as educators is to raise children who are leaders promoting hope, peace, and prosperity in their community and beyond. Thank you to our counselors for their hard work and steadfast dedication to our students!