At CIP Bloomington every morning, students attend Huddle - our jump start to the day.
Led by student advisor, Korie, Huddle is used to prepare students for their days. This includes prompting students to check their email, text messages, phone calls; making sure students are dressed appropriately; and ensuring students have their appropriate materials.
Every week day is dedicated to a specific topic. Mondays are used to spark discussion among the students. Typically, they are asked to share a skill or hobby they enjoy, a book they’ve recently read, or a movie they’ve recently watched. Wednesdays are dedicated to mental wellness. Students can choose to participate in a variety of activities, ranging from chair yoga to working on a puzzle. On Thursdays, you can find students participating in Jeopardy-style trivia! A student favorite, Trivia Thursday, will test students knowledge on World History, Pop Culture, and even CIP. Katelyn, CIP student, commented that even though she is not scheduled to be in Huddle on Thursdays, she enjoys joining in on the trivia. Every Friday, we review student celebrations from the week. This allows students to focus on something positive that occurred throughout their week or a goal they accomplished. Students typically share a passed test, improvements at internship sites, and/or developing a current friendship.
By creating a structured and engaging environment, students can thrive in the executive functioning skills of planning and preparing. Students also complete a Google form every morning to help them consider their goals and objectives for the day. On this form, students are asked to share one goal they will accomplish that day and if they need support with anything from their advisor. To increase accountability, students are also asked if they completed their goal from the previous day. Students are also invited to participate in more-relaxed poll questions throughout the week to spark discussion.
While Huddle is structured in a way that allows students to consider their schedules for the day and ensure they are prepared, students also have the flexibility to provide feedback on how they wish to utilize their time. Specifically during Mental Wellness Wednesdays, Students have the option to choose from a long list of activities to participate in while also having an ‘other’ option to participate in their own preferred activity. CIP student, Katelyn, appreciates Mental Wellness Wednesdays because it “gets [her] off [her] phone and focus on others. It also allows [her] to be more active” in the mornings.
By encouraging student feedback and interaction, students feel they have a voice in some of the more relaxed parts of their programming. As an advisor, Korie feels that providing structure while also allowing flexibility is key to establishing and continuing rapport with students; and Huddle is the prime environment to do exactly this!