SMUS students have access to a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities that interest them. We offer more than 100 fun and rewarding clubs or councils that provide students of all ages with leadership experience, skill development, and a chance to contribute to life on campus and in our greater community. The SMUS Review is currently highlighting these extracurricular activities and the passionate students who get involved.
Today, we meet Max and Mikayla (Grade 7), and Chris and Olly (Grade 8), two incoming and two outgoing members of the WEB Leader Program. WEB, which is an acronym for Where Everybody Belongs, is a Middle School leadership opportunity where Grade 8 students help the new Grade 6 students get to know the school by supporting them throughout the year.
What is the WEB Leader program?
Chris – WEB Leaders is a program for the new Grade 6s coming into the Middle School to make them feel accepted. The leaders, who are in Grade 8, work together – one boy and one girl – and get grouped with maybe eight Grade 6s to show them around and be there for them.
Olly – I think it’s important to have it, because when my brother came to the Middle School they didn’t have it, and he didn’t know where to go and he didn’t know teachers’ names. So it’s a really important thing because it makes for a good transition, and for the Grade 6s, they get a connection with the Grade 8s.
Why did you want to become a WEB leader?
Max – I wanted to become a WEB leader because I remember how it was kind of confusing at the very beginning of school year last year, and want to be able to help the kids that are also confused or having a hard time getting their bearings.
Mikayla – I just really wanted to be involved in the transition of the kids and help them; give them a safe environment to come in to, and just give them a welcoming vibe.
What did the WEB leaders do to make your own transition from the Junior School to the Middle School easier?
Max – They planned a lot of fun activities for us. They did gingerbread house making, pumpkin carving. Toward the end of the year, they do the Everything But the Sleepover, where we watch a movie and play games on the field in our pajamas. It’s so fun. They just do a lot of things with the Grade 6s.
Mikayla – Yeah, it was pretty fun having someone to look up to. I guess they’re kind of like a role model, so they’re able to exemplify what it’s like to be at the Middle School and kind of what the expectations are.
What did you learn about leadership during your time as a WEB leader?
Olly – The importance of having to work with everybody. I am definitely more of a person that likes to take charge, so I have to sort of step back and let other people go, which is really important to let everybody’s voice be heard in a group.
Chris – Like she said, teamwork is really important. We have to work with other WEB leaders and our partner – that’s a big aspect. And we also have to make sure that the Grade 6s know that we’re always there for them, so we have to keep that up.
What are you most looking forward to about being a WEB leader?
Mikayla – Being able to work with the kids, and just being able to get to know all of them, and making new friends.
Max – I’m looking forward to getting involved and helping; being someone they can look up to.
What advice do you have for the incoming WEB leaders?
Olly – Stay close to your Grade 6s for the whole year. Make sure you interact with your weblings.
Chris – And try to stay confident when you first meet them.
Olly – Yeah, I kind of struggled with that. We couldn’t get some of the kids to be quiet, and Ms. Lee said, ‘Do not yell at them. They will not respond to you if you yell at them.’ So listen to Ms. Lee!
Chris – And bribe them with candy – that works well!
Why should other students apply to become WEB leaders?
Olly – Because no matter what it’s going to be fun, because it’s a really good leadership opportunity, and it’s a really good way to put yourself out there and be a leader, which is what the teachers are expecting you to be in Grade 8. So it’s a really good opportunity to just sort of let yourself go and try new things. And it’s so much fun and it’s really cool to work with the Grade 6s because you don’t really get many opportunities to work really close with the younger kids.
Chris – If you have a chance to do it, you should definitely do it. It was just so much fun.