School Spotlight: Monroe Elementary School
When you visit a third grade classroom, the hope is that you’ll see students listening intently to the lesson.
But it’s not often that you’ll see kids teaching that lesson.
This year, Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park launched the Gear Squad, a group consisting of two dozen 4th and 5th graders.
“It’s a leadership group to help Monroe be a better place for everybody,” said Laura Silmser, a 4th grader who’s in the Gear Squad.
“I get told this a lot, sometimes the younger kids feel like we’re celebrities to them at our school,” said Christopher Nkwocha, a 5th grader in the Gear Squad.
They’re considered celebrities because throughout the course of the year, they go from class to class to teach their peers different topics.
The theme of this trimester’s lesson was on perseverance and ignoring distractions. On Wednesday, they had a captive audience of third graders who took it all in.
“I think they teach really well, like real teachers,” said Johanna Kirkham, a 3rd grader.
Valuable Experience for Students
Meanwhile, staff members at Monroe say that for the students involved, it’s a valuable experience.
“We knew that we had a group of kids in this school that had leadership skills, had leadership capabilities, and we really wanted to offer to that group of kids the ability to make a difference at Monroe,” said Kristin Contons, Monroe’s curriculum integrator.
Each of the Gear Squad members had to go through an application and interview process to join.
The hope is that by being part of the Gear Squad, that the students not only teach their classmates some valuable lessons, but that they’ll continue to grow as leaders.
“But also just to really be focused on making a difference wherever they are, to really be helpful and kind and be the leader that they can be,” Contons said.
Monroe hopes to keep the Gear Squad going for next year.