The Harbinger Online

Link Crew Changes


Photo by Audrey Kesler

Link crew leaders will no longer have a “set” seminar with different lessons to teach every week this year.  Each link crew partnership has created one unique activity, which they will present to a different seminar for the first 20 minutes each week.  With the new system, leak leaders will travel to a new seminar every week, and after 20 minutes, the link leaders will return to their assigned seminar.  This new system was devised with the intention of making link crew less stressful for link leaders, since they no longer have to gather materials and prepare a different activity each week.

“The hope is that this way, the [link leaders] just have to develop one plan, get one set of supplies and then will become more proficient at [their activity] over time,” link crew instructor Samantha Feinberg said. “We want them to get to the point where they are just nailing [their lesson plan] every time.”

One of the main goals of this new link crew change is to have all seminars visited by a different link crew partnership every week. This way, by the end of the school year, students will have had lessons on a wide-variety of subject matters. Self-esteem, time management, stress relief, effective test taking skills and teamwork are just some of the topics the activities will discuss.

“We are having the link leaders cover important parts of high school that aren’t specifically addressed in classes,” Feinberg said.

For example, link leaders senior Quincy Bair and junior Ben Shackleford knew they wanted to cover the topic of time management.  After consulting with Feinberg, they created a modified version of a “medicine wheel”– a circle where students get to map out what people and activities occupy their life the most. This way, students are able to see where they are putting most of their time.

“I think it will help students think about things they wouldn’t usually think of during high school,” Bair said. “Like students may realize ‘maybe I am spending too much time with my friends, and not enough with my family.’”

Feinberg explained that students are more involved and respond better when it is other students talking to them compared to a teacher. Also, with all the changing partnerships and variety in activities during seminar, link crew is hoping that students will be more engaged this year.

“I like being able to have the opportunity to see new people every week,” sophomore Dane Erickson said.  “I feel like people will be more interested in the activities and it’ll help mix things up.”

However, with this new system being implemented, second year and senior link leader Andie Ogg explained that she won’t have the same opportunity to fully get to know the other students in her seminar.

“In a way last year could be seen as more beneficial to the students because they could really get to know [their] link crew [leader] that [they] had from the beginning,” Ogg said. “But this year, [the students will] get to see and sort of know all of the link crew leaders.”

Link leaders won’t be able to establish as deep of bonds with the seminars because they will be traveling to a new classroom every week.  However, since some of the link leaders activities involve teamwork and communication amongst students in a seminar, Feinberg and all the other link crew instructors are hoping that this new system aids the development of interpersonal relationships between the students in their assigned seminars.

Although the first 20 minutes of seminar may take some adjusting at first for all involved, the link crew instructors are optimistic about the changes being made.  

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Madeline Hlobik

Madeline Hlobik is a senior at Shawnee Mission East and is a copy editor for The Harbinger. Outside of Harbinger, she runs cross country and track, and is a member of the IB program. In her free time Madeline can be found overeating dark chocolate or spending time with her friends. Madeline is so excited for this year and can’t wait to see all that The Harbinger staff accomplishes. Read Full »

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