When to ditch the script, move outta the way, and let the magic that needs to happen, do so

pink poodle Jeremy Scott’s Pink Poodle Shoes aren’t something I see too often. But they were worn by a teen at the library who was a member of our radio program. The two canines had their own story, of course, and it turns out they had a lot to do with bullying.

I was prepared to co-lead this session of my library’s Turn it Up Teen Radio program. It’s a podcast that’s also a partnership of a local ‘ NPR affiliate, WFAE. I came with an agenda. A plan.’ The curriculum dictated that this day was for research. Participants were scheduled to identify topics and resources pertaining to the segment on the topic of bullying. They would record next month.

I started the session off with a warm-up activity, selecting several short (4-7 minute) public radio segments, mostly on the topic of bullying. I divided the teens into teams and asked them to identify the research that informed the story, then come back in 15 minutes and share with the group.

When we came back together, I sat at the front of the group and asked them who wanted to go first. I noticed they were directing their feedback to me, when I really wanted it to presented the group. I asked them to take the stage, so to speak. They did, sharing topics and research pieces and then T., with the awesome pink poodle shoes, took the stage and said he had a story to share. Continue reading