Peacemakers are a team of teacher or classmate selected 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who are specially trained to help students solve problems using the Peace Path, a life-size (6ft x 13ft), step by step conflict resolution model painted on our playground. The students use it at recess to work out issues that come up. It contains the “I” Message and the Clean Up, two primary communication tools, written out in a simple, interactive, follow-the-directions format. Our Peacemakers can be recognized by their brightly colored vests that they wear to recess.
Soul Shoppe Peacemakers, unlike other conflict managers, do not roam the playground or lunchroom looking for problems. Research suggests that the “reporter” model creates less buy-in and more dissonance among peers. Instead, Peacemakers are a resource for students use as needed, or as adults deem necessary.
After they’re chosen, Peacemakers go through a 6-hour comprehensive Soul Shoppe training, where they learn
the ins and outs of playground problem-solving - everything from assertiveness to empathy to Yard Duty check-ins. At the end of the training, Peacemakers are assigned a partner and assigned a DAY to do their duty at all recesses on that day. Peacemakers receive support and encouragement through monthly meetings with the school counselor as their liaison and a follow up meeting with our Soul Shoppe trainer.