Reply To: Recruiting, training, retaining, and managing teen leaders

Showcase Forums Teen Science Cafe Workshop Discussion 2015 Recruiting, training, retaining, and managing teen leaders Reply To: Recruiting, training, retaining, and managing teen leaders

Lynn Cross

Natanya, I’m glad that you found the information useful!

Luckily we have not had to remove any students for poor attendance or lack of commitment. We would consider doing so if it was a problem. I tend to give students leeway if they are communicating well with me. Having the signed pledge gives us more leverage in dismissing people, if we need to. Of course, I would personally talk with the student before dismissing them, and give them a chance to leave on their own. Tell them that the program takes more than they are giving and if they are unable to participate more and have other things going on that keep them from participating fully that you understand if they need to drop out. Often times students just try to do to much. They may choose to step out on their own or the talk is a “first warning” step for you to address problems.

One other note about our program is that the term is 1 school year with an invitation to stay on for a second year, if students are in good standing. This allows you to reform your group with dedicated students. Students can stay in a maximum of 2 school years. This turnover allows for new students every year while retaining quality kids.

We originally accepted a certain number of applicants because we were trying to fulfill a number. The lesson I’ve learned is that you take the kids that you want after reading applications, whether that is 5 or 15. More students doesn’t lead to more output in many cases.

My two cents!