The power of words through peer mediation was showcased as the first 'Teaching and Learning' Highlight at Monday's school committee meeting in Foxborough. Under the direction of guidance counselor Mike Tiano and teacher Dan Williams, Ahern Middle School students Eliza Alden and Michaela McCarthy shared what it means to be a peer mediator in the Mediation Matters program at the
Mediation is a form of conflict resolution where trained students, under adult supervision, help their peers talk out and resolve interpersonal conflicts. It is about kids helping kids, explained Eliza and Michaela. The goal of peer mediators is to help classmates find solutions to differences through discussion and problem solving.
The Ahern Broadcasting Club created a video reenactment to illustrate the process that students take when voluntarily seeking peer mediation. Key ingredients of the program and process include honesty, confidentiality and neutrality. Student mediators do not take sides or make decisions for their peers; instead, they are trained to “help other kids come up with a solution.” “We help them reach an understanding and come to an agreement,” explained the students. For students experiencing conflict, having peers help them create their own resolutions and solve their own problems is key.