School-age 4

Natural Leaders
October 2019


This month within SA4 we’ve observed the older children in the group naturally take on a leadership role within the afterschool program. Whether it was during play, in the hallway or out in the forest, we would watch as the older children would guide the younger children around them to make the best choices, learn a new game or improve on one they’ve played for a while, as well as learn about the environment around them. Having a chance to watch this unfold without requesting has been wonderful to see.


One day, as we were playing a game of Magic, some of the younger friends from SA3 joined our room and inquired what we were playing. Answering with enthusiasm Marcus said, “this is magic,” and with a puzzled look the three that joined around the table looked back at him and without having to ask Marcus quickly told them it was a game that was like Pokémon meets dungeons and dragons. “You get these cards like in Pokémon, but they are monsters and wizards.” Soon the group became bigger around the table and Josiah quickly pointed out to the younger kids that the best thing to remember was to keep track of the land used. “If you don’t un-tap and take care of it you lose it,” he informed them. As the game went on, the older peers played their game and shared with the younger group each element to the game, “math, reading, strategy, communication: it’s all there” Chinaza cheerfully added. Soon the younger friends were asking if they too could join the game.


Another day while we were outside, Victor and Mateo found a caterpillar with two friends from SA3 who were unsure if they could touch it or not, and Victor quickly told them he had learned, “this one was safe but be careful of the white furry ones.” As the interest in the caterpillar grew, Josiah would help some of the younger friends hold the caterpillar and share different things it would need if they were to keep it as a pet. He held it out and said, “Your gunna need some grass and a container with holes so it can breathe.” Soon a group joined him on the carpet as he talked more about the caterpillar and asked them what kind of butterfly it might be or how long until it would hatch.


Another afternoon while playing basketball, Landon and Brayden were helping two of the boys from SA3 with their jump shot. They would show them proper technique and the best place to shoot from. Landon showed them how he would use his momentum into a layup, while Brayden would tell them how adding a jump at the three-point line would give them a better shot and better chances for the ball to go in.


In the past we would have to remind them they are leaders on the playground and to help as much as they can and the things they do are often imitated. It appears this year they have noticed and taken it upon themselves to guide and lead, as we even notice in the hallway some of the girls in the group are quick to lend a supportive hug to a younger friend in need but then quickly remind them to join their group so their teacher knows where they are. Whether it is in play or in the hall, our group has quickly come into the leadership role.


A child is holding a caterpillar

A group of children are investigating a caterpillar





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Kitchener, Ontario
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(519) 742-6291


portrait of jo

Joanne Neeb, RECE 

portrait of Jen

Jen Schiedel, RECE
Assistant Supervisor