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Come Out of Your Box!

We all have a comfort zone; a figurative box in which we function from day to day. It is when we step out of this box that we are capable of growth. Youth Teaching Youth (YTY) Mentors challenged participants at St. Joe’s School Age Care (SAC) to step outside of their box.

During planning, YTY Mentors discussed how many people who are identified as leaders are vocal people who take action quickly. Ironically enough, few of the YTY Mentors fell into this category, yet all identified themselves as leaders. Using this information, the team developed an activity for youth at St. Joe’s SAC that would challenge the quiet, reflective students to be more vocal and decisive while challenging the vocal students to listen and trust others to make decisions.

In the lesson, “Come Out of Your Box” elementary students at St. Joe’s SAC were partnered with a YTY Mentor. YTY Mentors thought carefully about each person’s leadership qualities and assigned more quiet people to be the director and the more talkative people to be the listener. Listeners were blindfolded and guided through an obstacle course by the director using only verbal cues.

After the activity, youth were asked why they thought they were chosen to be a listener or a director. Students were incredibly self-aware and identified that the assignment had been to develop a skill that didn’t come naturally. They discussed how they were much better at the task they had been assigned than they thought they would be.

YTY Mentors challenged the elementary youth and themselves to continue to step out of their box to develop new skills. They challenge you to do the same!

Allison Hansen, Extension Educator