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Searching for Kindness

Well Coordinators, it’s that time of year already. It’s time to start thinking about selecting your next group of Link and WEB Leaders. Selecting the right leaders is arguably the single most important thing you will do in your program, so maybe this is the year that you take your selection process to the next level!

Quick reminder: What we taught you about selecting your leaders at the Basic Training is rightfully seen as just a starting place for getting the right leaders on board. That said, it is still worth a double check to make sure you are at least doing the basics before we go on.

Numbers: You are looking to recruit 2 leaders for every group of 10 new students you will have. Recall that recruiting too many leaders is almost as bad as not recruiting enough. No matter how tempting it is to take more, force your program to target the right numbers.

Qualities: Our NUMBER 1 priority for your leaders is that they represent a cross-section of your school. Every single new student should be able to look at your group of leaders and see at least one student that they feel is “like them”. Our NUMBER 2 priority is that you seek out the kindest kids at your school. Get those two things right and you are on your way.

Strategies: Finally, we suggested you start with four strategies to recruit the right leaders.

1. Teacher Recommendation. You will be hosting your staff meeting soon (you do this every year right????). Make sure to emphasize to your staff that you are trying to find kids that represent the cross-section AND have kindness in their heart.

2. Host Information Sessions. Are you ready for the sales show!?

3. Strategically Recruit. Don’t wait for some of them to come to you….Go get them! Especially encourage your underrepresented groups to apply!

4. All self-selection: Put your applications where people can see them!

Beyond the Basics: Ok, so you got all that covered? Maybe it's time to enhance your application process. Especially as your program grows, you may need to add additional steps to your process for becoming a leader. This will allow you to see more about the students who are applying.

At Desert Sky Middle School, WEB Coordinator Christina Nickerson not only has the students complete a full application, but they also attend a group interview. She invites 4-5 trusted teachers to evaluate the students with her as they engage in a series of non-WEB activities that allow the teachers to see the student interacting with each other. This allows them to see far beyond the answers to an essay question or how a teacher might see them.

Check out Christina's interview check list!

What can you add to your recruitment process this year that will let you get a better sense of which kids will make the biggest impact in your program this year?

Believe in your ability to train leadership in your students. Believe in your ability to increase their management skills. Believe that, as long as you find kids with kindness at the core of their being, your Link Crew and WEB program will soar to ever greater heights!!


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