Lanier Middle School GSG (Guidance and Support Group) Program and Guidelines
Teacher: Michael Giroir
Conference Periods: P4 and R1
Tutorials: Monday 3:30-4:15pm
Phone: 713.942.1900. Ext. 417
Lanier’s Leadership program addresses the complex issue of teaching diversity and tolerance, understanding, character education and community service. The student leaders are taught to nurture and encourage themselves and others in their GSGs (Guidance and Support Groups) or homerooms. The program gives middle school students the necessary skills for decision making, goal setting, while creating positive relationships with their peers, teachers, families and their community. It is also designed to foster critical thinking, self-awareness, and self-advocacy. The program also incorporates current issues facing adolescents and provides strategies and models for effectively dealing with these issues. The lessons are designed to teach students and attitudes and skills necessary for them to achieve to the best of their ability.
Description of the program as related to the:
Classroom: Teachers and student leaders integrate the necessary skills for positive decision making, goal setting, and create positive relationships with their peers, teachers, families and the community. The GSG Program is designed to foster critical thinking, self-awareness and personal responsibility. GSG Leadership teaches ways of thinking and essential attitudes of highly motivated people. It creates an atmosphere of activism and encourages students to become more involved in their community while giving them strategies for developing a safe and caring school environment. The students build a learning environment that gives all students, teachers and parents a common language of trust, safety, and encouragement.
School: The program is a 30-minutes period of time after the first period where students meet for positive interactions. The classes are a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from all clusters. In addition to learning Character Education, it is also a time for students to share their feelings, celebrate their victories, and talk about their problems. The also learn how to be positive peers to others in their class. The leaders learn team building activities, how to be a role model, how to set and achieve goals, how to problem solve, and how to serve their school community.
Community: The goal of the program is to help the students become better connected to Lanier and the community. The program establishes connections to the entire school population that allows barriers to break down between clusters and between teachers and students. The program also teaches students how to become active by allowing the students to participate in community service both locally and globally.
The program is in its 15th year. Teachers have reported a strengthening in the bonds between students and their peers, and also between students and teachers. Students appear to be showing more respect and kindness toward their school community; resolving conflicts within their GSG’s and showing more self-control overall. The program promotes local and global community responsibility and citizenship. It prepares the students to take responsibility for themselves and for others as well as preparing them to become leaders in a global community. Student leaders teach lessons involving drug and alcohol abuse, social disorders, and social problems related to academic achievement. The actively promote awareness of community problems as well as global issues. The students are taught to embrace diversity and to create environments where there can be anti-bias, and they can truly celebrate the uniqueness of each other.
IB and the GSG: The GSG and IB are closely related, both are student centered and each GSG lesson can be viewed through one or more of the five Areas of Interaction. The guiding questions set the tone and also provide a tool to check for comprehension and to guide the conversations in GSG. The GSG also integrates the Learner Profile (10 qualities/characteristics of an IB student) into the lessons and activities.