Scaredy Squirrel is a children’s book by Melanie Watt. The message in the book is all about leaving your comfort zone in order to discover wonderful things – a fantastic message for post-secondary students.
I use Scaredy in staff training, as it’s a fun (and low risk) way to start an important conversation. We’re often happy to stay in our safe environments, and continue to do only what we know. Through Scaredy, we learn that there are wonderful opportunities beyond that safe environment that we would never find if we never left our comfort zone. When a student enters college or university, they face a lot of unknowns. There are a lot of new decisions to be made, people to get to know and experiences to be had. Luckily, there are helpful people there to make that transition a little easier. Upper year students play a huge role in helping to make the campus a welcome and inviting place. Using Scaredy Squirrel with student leaders (during training) opens the door to that conversation. I get them to think back to their first few days and what made it scary, but also what made them feel welcome. That leads to the discussion on the impact they can have on new students.
It’s also a good reminder that all of our training techniques need not include a powerpoint presentation.
What fun training tools do you use with student leaders?
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