This year I have a group of twelve 7th grade boys. I don’t know if you’ve ever spent time with a dozen 7th graders before, but they are all over the place. They’re talkative, full of energy, squirrelly, ADD, ADHD… They’re a handful.
This week my co-leader and I had a realization that we have never really set expectations for our small groups before. We’ve told them that we expect to have everyone respect each other, but we’ve never really been specific about what they’re supposed to do with regard to talking, interrupting, etc. This year we knew we needed to nip it in the bud upfront.
Tonight we laid it out for them:
- At no time should there be any talking over someone, and there should never be any cross-talk
- If someone chooses to talk out of turn, the group will be talked to and reminded to stay respectful to the person talking
- If that person continues to talk, we’ll have words with them after group is over
- If there is still a problem with disrespect, we’ll ask the person to take a week or 2 off from group
I think this was a good start to lay out what we expect of the guys. We know we need to stay direct and consistent with these expectations throughout the year to make them last, and hopefully we won’t have an issue that gets out of hand. I have high hopes for the guys that they can handle doing small group the right way.