Introducing “Cabot Leads”

Use service learning to grow your community

a model for service learning

What do you do when you’re a 5th-through-8th middle school housed in two separate buildings?

If your 7th-and-8th graders are with the high school, and 5th and 6th graders are off on their own, how can you provide an opportunity all middle graders to feel involved in the middle school? How do you promote leadership and engagement, and connect students to their communities?

For the Cabot School, service learning is the answer.

Introducing “Cabot Leads”

One way Cabot School is handling this issue is by launching a program, based on the iLead service learning and leadership program.  They are calling it Cabot Leads. Service learning helps build strong school communities rooted in service, student interest and engagement.

Basically, we ask the question:

What are the needs of the school and of the community, and how can students help develop their interests, self-direction and independence, while serving their school and community?

 

Why do Cabot Leads?

Let Cabot’s teachers describe why they wanted to develop Cabot Leads, and what benefits they are seeing so far.

What kinds of jobs were launched?

use service learning Cabot Leads

Cabot Leads has been nearly a year in the making. The jobs were created through a collaborative process with the school community, with guidance and ideas from the iLeads program, and with input from students and the community.

Here are some of the Cabot Leads jobs:

And here are some Cabot students sharing on Flipgrid about what jobs they applied for and why. Can you hear the enthusiasm?

 

 

What was student interest like?

The teachers have reported a lot of excitement and motivation around Cabot Leads. But don’t let me tell you about it. Let a student!

 

How did we plan it?

In LaunchPad! If you’ve never met LaunchPad, it’s project-based learning planning tool created by two Cabot educators. Launchpad is an easy to use, organized, scaffolded and visually appealing way to develop project based learning units. Teachers or students can design learning experiences, tag proficiencies, link resources, and share with team members all in one place.

Cabot Leads is open on LaunchPad, meaning anyone can access it (once you have an account). You can make a copy of the project, and modify it to meet your needs.

Plus you’ll also find links for all the Google Docs shown here in this LaunchPad project.

Tips for teachers

Interested in trying this out? Here are tips from two Cabot teachers, Peter Stratman and Nene Riley, about how and why to launch a program like this at your school.

We will keep you posted as this amazing project unfolds!

What are your questions, ideas, and thoughts about starting a program like this? How could it work in your school?

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Katy Farber

Farber joined TIIE after 17 years as a classroom teacher in central Vermont. Her dissertation with Northeastern University focused on service learning at the middle level and is called The Doing Revolution: early adolescents, service learning, and personal growth. Her education articles have been published on CNN’s School of Thought, Educational Leadership, Edutopia, and the Synapse. Farber has also taught pre-service and practicing teachers in graduate courses at Union Institute and LAPDA. She is passionate about promoting student and teacher voice, engaging early adolescent students, sharing the power of service learning, and creating inclusive communities where joy, courageous conversations and kindness are the norm. She lives in central Vermont with her husband and two daughters and loves being outside with family and friends, listening to music, and jumping into Vermont ponds and lakes.

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