Working With Adult Team Members

An adult ally is the adult half of a youth–adult partnership (The Students Commission of Canada, 2007). The ally is there to work with you and support you in making decisions and taking action that affects you and your school.

Key characteristics of adult allies

  • Accepting
  • Approachable
  • Creative
  • Encouraging
  • Energetic
  • Friendly
  • Non-judgemental
  • Open
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Positive
  • Shares power
  • Teacher
  • Trustworthy
  • Understanding
  • Validating

What can an adult ally do for you?

Adult allies can support you during the planning and action stages of this project by providing guidance and advice, and by connecting you with other groups and individuals in your school and your community.

It’s important to work with adult allies in your school throughout the entire project to make sure that your activities are well-timed (for example, that they don’t conflict with other activities happening at your school), that everyone in the school knows about the activity (for example, advocating on your behalf to other teachers), and that you have access to everything you need for the activity (for example, supplies or access to the school social media account or the PA system).

Who are potential adult allies at school?

Every school is different, but the following are some adults who could potentially be allies in your school:

  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Office staff
  • Principal
  • School mental health professional or mental health leader
  • School Nurse
  • Teachers
  • Vice Principal

And remember, if in doubt, start with one and ask them to help you recruit more!

Who are potential adult allies in your community?

Just as every school is different, every community is different too. The following are some adults in the community who could potentially be allies:

  • Business Owners
  • City Councillors
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Public Health Staff
  • Recreation Centre Staff
  • Youth Centre Staff

If in doubt, start by identifying adult allies in your school and have them help you identify community members to reach out to.