I LOVE teaching reading. I LOVE teaching writing. I LOVE teaching math. I LOVE teaching language arts. But the best part of my teaching comes when I get to take a step back and let our Buddy program do some amazing teaching outside of the academic curriculum. Our fifth graders and 1st graders buddy up to develop a special kind of friendship.
In our weekly time together, we have the students do activities that help them get to know each other, build trust, and learn from each other. We play games where taking turns, being patient and being a good sport is the norm.
The fifth graders take on the responsibility of being a caring friend—it is pretty awesome to see a “cool” fifth grader helping a first grader tie their shoe! Our first graders get the extra attention from a positive role model that they know in the building and will get to see them every week.
I feel so much pride when I see the older students playing a simple game of Top It and not think it is too silly and give the eye-roll (you know what I’m talking about). I feel validated that this is a wonderful program when walking down the hall, the first graders get so excited when they see their buddy passing by. The fifth graders must feel like celebrities. You can see the friendships starting to get nurtured so early in the school year.
By having buddies, we are fostering a climate in our school where we are building strong relationships and becoming better citizens.
I LOVE the Buddy Program!