With everyone's name already internalized, we got to work straight away today. We started off in small groups to discuss leaders in our lives and the characteristics they possess. The common theme among my group was parents and teachers. It just so happens, one of my parents (mother) is also a teacher so she seemed like a natural subject for this project. I talked about her dedication to the kids and her ability to captivate the students in addition to being exceptionally organized and caring. All those characteristics were things my group and I agreed a leader must have. Other traits on the list included firmness, focus, and honesty. We noticed that these traits came from all the directions we had discussed last night at Community Hours. So, as a class, we were able to conclude that it is important to incorporate all directions in leadership practices or ask for help if possible to make sure all the bases are covered. We also realized there were some really influential people in our lives. A leader isn't just someone like Hillary Clinton who does great work, granted, but someone who effects your life more personally in a positive way.
We went back to our seats after that exercise and moved on to a "Self Inventory" activity in which each person had to write things they like about themselves, things they enjoyed doing etc. After filling out the worksheet, we shared some of our answers and discussed how it was to write about ourselves in a positive way when most adolescents are used to putting themselves down to avoid being considered conceded or bragging. I found it to be really nice. I forget to take time to myself to remind myself how awesome I am. While that sounds bad, I really suggest everyone, of any age, take some time once a week or even everyday to think about the things they value in themselves and in their lives because it can really lift one's mood and provide that push needed to get through another day.
After a filling lunch, we came back to class and watched a movie called "Miss Representation" (strongly recommend). It addressed the issues that women face today despite the advances they've made throughout history. The movie was filled with thought-provoking and shocking statistics that really got us talking in the discussion after the movie. The overall consensus of the group was that we had experienced some of the instances presented in the movie personally i.e. bullying and wanted to do something about it. This flowed perfectly in to a brief conversation about developing our Action Plans.
And with that, our second day ended. Feeling accomplished and motivated, I'm off to get some much needed rest.