Kelly came up to me near the end of class and said she had an idea.  “I think we should make our own Festive Yellow Lanyards.”  Festive Yellow Lanyards? – Intrigued? – read on. 

The Canadian Student Leadership Association runs one day Horizons conferences across Canada each year.  I have presented at many of them.  Twice a year I take my classes to them.  In the past Centennial has been a conference host a few times.  At these conferences students receive a nametag with a yellow lanyard. When I promote attending Horizons with my students I tell them they need to come because:  

  • They will hear from amazing speakers 
  • They get a delicious lunch 
  • They get to meet The Grampster!
  • Most important – they will receive a Festive Yellow Lanyard! 

Through the years this has become part of our class culture.  Students brag about how many Festive Yellow Lanyards they have collected. 

This year Horizons happened online.  I promoted signing up for the conference and explained they will get to hear from amazing speakers, I will provide pizza, but sadly … no Festive Yellow Lanyards.  There was enthusiasm for Horizons but some lanyard disappointment. 

Kelly decided to pivot.  If we can’t get the lanyards why not make our own.  I loved it. She bought us bead lanyards.  She printed off nametags.  We wrote everyone’s names on them and laminated the tags. 

Fifty of my students signed up for the Horizons conference.  Thirty-five watched together at school from 4-7 PM.  Another 15 were quarantined and watched from home.  Everyone got their own Festive Yellow Lanyard. 

I have many Festive Yellow Lanyards.  This homemade one means the most to me.  It sums up what is awesome about Student Leadership.  Kelly cares about our class and traditions.  She values passing these traditions down to our new students.  She pivoted and found a way to make it happen.   

Culture and traditions are so important in a Leadership program.  I would invite you to celebrate the ones that you have with your students.  If some of them aren’t possible during Covid times then pivot and find a way to make homemade lanyards. 

Fun Friday Class Activity 

Play Heads Down Thumbs Up with your class.  All three of my classes were right into this. Some were even making sure there was no cheating by looking at shoes to guess who tapped someone’s thumb.  It was like they were right back in elementary school.  Thanks to Rebecca Paquette for the inspiration.  Here is the link for how to play if you aren’t familiar with the game.  https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Heads-Down-Thumbs-Up

Great Story For Class Online or in Person 

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld 

A story about how listening is more important than giving advice etc.  I read it to my classes and got lots of good feedback. Check it out. 

Keep on doing great stuff with kids whether you are in person or online.  They need it more than ever. 

Brent 

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