‘Make your standards high’: Heritage middle, high students fight peer pressure
By Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com)
Heritage middle- and high-schoolers are standing firm against peer pressure.
Heritage High School’s Teaching as a Profession class has partnered with Heritage Middle School teen living teacher Caroline Jacobus’ class.
The high-schoolers met recently with Jacobus’ class, leading lessons about the dangers of giving into peer pressure and encouraging the younger students to remain true to themselves.
Senior Brooklyn Howard started a lesson by asking Heritage Middle’s students about peer pressure. The middle-schoolers noted several forms, such as using tobacco products, participating in illicit drug use or bullying other students.
Howard then offered support on behalf of her entire class, which is led by teacher Linda Goins. “We want to lead you in the right direction, away from peer pressure.”
Destiny Edwards later administered a nine-question quiz composed of hypothetical peer pressure situations and responses. After completing the quiz, Edwards informed each student about their tendencies and offered personal advice.
Goins’ class then offered several visual aids. They displayed a “Finding Nemo” clip in which Nemo gives into peer pressure, touches a boat against his father’s wishes and gets captured by scuba divers.
The high-schoolers later organized a demonstration. Caroline Roberts stood on a chair, and Kaitlyn Gass stood on the ground.
“It’s easier to pull someone down than lift them up,” Gass said, pulling Roberts down off the chair. “Make your standards high and bring them up.”
“You don’t need someone who is going to bring you down,” Howard said.
The high-schoolers also talked about bad influences and shared personal stories. They asked students to sign a banner and told students to stand firm against peer pressure.
“Everybody gets peer pressured,” Howard said. “If you haven’t, you will. Just be strong and confident in who you are as a person.”
Jacobus was pleased with Goins’ students and their messaging. “They did a good job. Anytime you can reinforce positive behavior in this grade level is critically important. High-schoolers can relate to them a little better, and they (middle-schoolers) listen to them a bit more. It’s important for kids to know that it’s OK to say no and friends might change.”
She also praised their teaching. “They’re learning and getting experience. If something goes wrong, you fix it.”
Goins’ class plans to enter the campaign in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competitions in the chapter service project category.