First Day of School and Link Crew

Today was my first day in Grade 11 and it was also my first day as an official Link Crew Leader.  I know that there is a huge group of students who think the program isn’t necessary and that’s fine if they don’t want or need it.  I realize that it’s not for everyone.  I just want to be there for the students who do want or need the program.  If I can help even one student through their first year of high school then it will be worth it for me 🙂

What is Link Crew?

Link Crew is a program that our high school started 6 years ago to help grade 9 students make an easier transition into high school.  It’s a buddy system joining the grade 9 students with  a grade 11 and grade 12 student.  It’s to help prevent bullying, paddling and be a source of information to the new students. Almost all high schools in Canada now have something similar to this program to end bullying and make school a better environment for all students.

During the first day of school we work in groups with the new students with some ‘ice breaker’ activities so everyone gets to know each other and feel more welcomed into the school.

This morning was only for the Grade nine students so the Link Crew leaders were all there before 7:00am preparing for them to arrive.  The rest of the school started in the afternoon.

How do you become a Link Crew Leader?

Grade 11 and 12 students have to fill out a long questionnaire (last year) and apply to become a Link Crew Leader and then the teachers and staff select who they think will do a good job based on the applications, and also teacher nominations.  It’s a big deal to be selected since not everyone is.  They base their selection on finding different personality types to fit all the demographics of the students.  I was chosen for my time management skills since I am always juggling school, training and competition and for my leadership skills.  I guess they figured that I would be able to help other students who are busy outside of school as well.

Training to be a Link Crew Leader?

During the last week of summer all the leaders met for 4 different training sessions.  The first one was a team bonding night where we all went horse back riding and had a BBQ.  Then there were 3 intense mornings at the school preparing for the first day of school, and the rest of the year.  We were all assigned a partner to work with for the entire year. I was paired up with a Grade 12 student.  We are completely different from each other which is perfect since we can offer different approaches and views to the grade 9 students since we each have our own strengths.  Each pair of Leaders was given 9 new students that we are responsible for.  We had to call all the new students at home to welcome them to the school and let them know where to meet us on the first day.  These are our 9 students that can come to us at any time during the year if they have any questions or problems. The cool thing with Link Crew is that yes, we have our own group of students, but we are there for every grade nine, and each other.   We have been trained to know what the best resources are and the chain of command for every situation. This program will last the entire year and we will have sessions with our group throughout the year.

Why is important to me to become a Link Crew Leader?

I was very fortunate to have an older brother to show me the ropes of high school.  Because of him I was not afraid  or nervous to go to school.  I knew the school lay out and a lot of the teachers so I wasn’t nervous, but I know a lot of other kids were petrified if they didn’t have any exposure to it before.

In Taekwon-Do I coach and train with students ranging in ages from about 10-55 years old.  I KNOW that people can get along no matter what the age is as long as their is a mutual respect.  High school should be  no different.  Grade 9 students should not be afraid of Grade 12 students! This program makes a difference, and I am so excited and to be a part of that difference maker. 🙂 I hope all the grade nines had a great first day at school!

I wear this bracelet with pride!