On Monday, February 25, Grade 10 students from David Thompson returned to Tecumseh to teach the school's Grade 4 students about online safety and cyberbullying. Vice Principal Carrie Froese says students were "bubbling over with excitement about attending a conference with the "big kids" coming to be their teachers."
This year's iMentorship Conference incorporated interactive workshops that encouraged students to play Jeopardy, create boardgames, perform skits, participate in interactive powerpoint presentations and write their own personal pledge for a huge 17 metre display.
The iMentorship program has been run in the district for the past three years and Froese says the school is lucky enough to be participating for the second year.
"I cannot say enough about the collaboration between elementary and secondary staff and students. It is such an amazing opportunity for all of the students to develop critical thinking skills around decision making and their choices when they are on the computer," says Baljinder Gill, Tecumseh's librarian and one of the staff involved in the conference.
Froese says students have been learning about online safety and cyberbullying from their teachers since the beginning of the year. The TecumsehComputerWhiz blog has also been a source for information and discussion, however Froese says the advantage of the iMentorship program is that the message is being delivered from young people the elementary students look up to and who have direct experience in many of the issues they are teaching about.
District staff say big thanks need to go to Coast Capital Savings for helping support the iMentorship program.
As one fourth grader recently commented about their secondary mentors, "They should know cause they are the ones on the phone and on the computer all the time."
Tecumseh also offers an after school program in April for Grade 3-7 students from Tecumseh Annex and the main school. The school's goal is for all students to have a solid understanding of how to keep themselves safe online and how to communicate with the same kind of respect expected in face to face contact. "�
For more information about iMentorship, click here.