Leaders

Why do it?

Here are some possible benefits to leaders:
  1. Spending time with little kids. Many teens and young folks have little or no contact with little kids, and can benefit from the experience.
  2. Learning the philosophical concepts. These topics, and trains and kinds of thought, are good mental exercise and training - this stuff can be as good for the leaders as for the kids. (Incidentally, leaders will learn the philosophical concepts in a different way from the kids.)
  3. Community service, doing good.
  4. Transcripts. For the college-bound: jaded admissions counselors see loads of transcripts and applications showing great academics, test scores, et cetera. They also hear from faculty that incoming college students lack critical thinking ability. That a candidate/applicant has not only done critical thinking, but actually taught it to little kids, may impress.
  5. It's fun! And satisfying.

Weekly routine

Here is one schedule that used to work:

10:00 - Leaders arrive, set up, last-minute plans and announcements. Kids begin to arrive.
10:15 - We begin. First read the book aloud, then initiate and guide the discussion.
11:15 - Wrap it up.
11:30 - Kids picked up. Leaders tidy up, confer, discuss/evaluate the session that just happened, plan for next week.
12:00 - Finished.

Here is another schedule that has worked:

11:30 - Leaders arrive, set up, last-minute plans and announcements. Kids begin to arrive.
11:45 - Discussion begins. First read the book aloud, then initiate and guide the discussion.
12:15 - Recess.
12:30 - Resume discussion.
13:00/1:00 PM - Discussion ends. Kids get picked up, and/or hang around or take off to play. Leaders tidy up, confer, discuss/evaluate the session that just happened, plan for next week.

Leaders' resources

Here are some resources specially for leaders.

Here Tom Wartenberg gives good advice about how to lead discussions.