Youth Engagement as Teachers

The Freechild Institute Youth Involvement Toolkit

Facilitating learning for themselves, other youth, adults, or children, youth can be teachers of small and large groups in all kinds of topics. Youth as teachers can facilitate learning, activities and reflection for their peers, children and adults of all ages on all sorts of topics.

Education is the property of no one. It belongs to the people as a whole. And if education is not given to the people, they will have to take it.

— Che Guevara

Ways Youth Engagement as Teachers Happens

Students Teaching Classes — Facilitating learning for their peers, younger students and adults can be exhilarating, engaging and empowering for youth as teachers and their students. Working with adults as allies, youth as teachers can learn different teaching styles, topics, and expectations for learning, providing learners with diverse opportunities to learn content in dynamic new ways.

Workshop Facilitation — Leading workshops for their communities, in conferences, for organizations and at school can empower youth as teachers to transform the attitudes and cultures of the places they live, learn and grow everyday.

Youth Team Builders — As group facilitators, youth can help teams bond, build their communication and problem solving skills, and develop new approaches to real-world problems they face everyday. Youth team builders can help groups develop new thinking, form stronger bonds and reflect deeply on what affects them most.

Needs for Youth Engagement as Teachers

Training — Learning how to teach is not a training activity. Instead, its a personal growth and capacity building approach that transforms thinking and actions to improve teaching for both students and instructors. However, classroom management skills, presentation and reflection skills can all be trained and grown through strategy by action. Youth as teachers should learn these skills before and during their teaching experiences.

Reflection — Seriously thinking about what they’ve experienced can be a tool for youth as teachers to become stronger and more effective learners. As teachers, it can drive performance improvement, change expectations for themselves and their learning, and transform their perceptions of classrooms, workshops and other learning spaces forever.

Opportunities — Teaching is not the exclusive purview of adults. Instead, it is a transforming approach to problem identification, learning, problem-solving, and resource sharing. Young people can learn the skills and knowledge necessary to teach others through opportunities designed to challenge their assumptions, increase their abilities and transform learning and teaching.

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Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how Freechild Institute can support youth + social change through youth teaching in your community or organization, contact us.

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