Right timing for implementation in the schools
In many schools we could see how difficult it is to start the activities at the very start of the school year. A delay in the training start can be acceptable in many kind of project but when we come to “Mediation Club”, which may require a long training, we could realize how important it is to plan it in advance, possible at the end of the previous school year. In fact when the training has been completed too late in the school Year (ex: after the half term) the mediation club did not have enough time to operate and both students and teachers did not have enough time to touch visible outcomes of their activities.
Organize the trainings as early as possible (both multipliers and students ones) so that they can be completed as soon as possible (suggested: within 4 month from school start) and leave enough time for the mediation club to operate.
How to keep high motivation in the peer mediators
- low number of actual mediations: most of mediation clubs could actually perform much less mediation then expected. This led to negative consequences on two levels:
– mediators loose motivation
– mediators could not practice so they loose part of their competences
– we had no data to evaluate the effectiveness of this tool
- mediation number should not be the only goal and indicator: it should be stated from the beginning that the number of mediations is not predictable at the beginning. To become fully operative in terms of mediations a mediation club may need up to 3 or 5 years (German Experience).
- Other indicators should be considered as skills and competences acquired by partecipants and improving of general school climate
- mediation club should have several different tasks: as a consequence of previous point it is important that the mediation club keep meeting on regular base after training even if there are lower or no mediations. They should therefore have different task as creative production, more role games, discuss cyberbullying cases with teachers and head masters…
- head-master should promote strongly the mediation club through all teachers community
- teachers support actions: teachers leading the mediations club should be supported through further workshops, online tools, and experience’s exchange with other teacher in order to keep motivated, improve strategies and get through difficult problems