Whiz Kid: Student Helps Solve Classmates’ Conflicts Using Mediation
Zaineb Jabber uses tact and training to be successful as one of only a handful of peer mediators at Becker Elementary.
Name: Zaineb Jabber
School: Becker Elementary School
Accomplishment: The term “mediation” often comes up in adult situations, like legal or labor disputes.
But at Becker Elementary, mediation has taken on a similar role, and fourth grader Zaineb Jabber is one of only a few students that intervene in classroom conflicts as a peer mediator. It’s a role Jabber calls a useful way to solve conflicts that inevitably come up among young people in and out of the classroom.
“I like helping the other students,” she said. “(Mediation) is a way that we can solve our problems at school that is respectful.”
Jabber and other peer mediators were hand-picked for their positions, and were specifically trained in mediation techniques for two days.
Key to awesomeness: Peer mediation is a community-based process that can be employed within a social, employment or school setting that brings uninterested parties into play to assess issues and mete out solutions and consequences to actions.
Among children, the process can teach students to reason out their differences.
Jabber’s responsibilities include helping students work through their conflicts, and if there is misbehavior involved, encouraging the two or more parties sign a pledge to refrain from the behavior for the remainder of the school year. All of the conflicts are submitted to Principal Nada Fouani.
Jabber said that conflicts don’t happen very often, but when they do, she’s ready to respond.
“A conflict can be something like someone thinking that another student took their pencil, or it can be bullying,” she said.
Outside of the classroom, Jabber is involved in several after-school activities, including youth sports. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
In school, Jabber’s favorite subjects are language arts and social studies. She said she has not yet made a decision about what she would like to do when she grows up, and said still has time to think about those things.
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