Presentations. One of those defining moments in any classroom.
Who will have prepared within an inch of their lives? Who will somehow take to the floor like a duck to water, despite having done zero preparation? Who will face it with fear filling their eyes as they realise how much preparation others have made?
Seeing learners exposed and outside of their comfort zone will always be one of the best ways to get to know who they are; their mindset, their strength of character and their natural dispositions. In a lot of ways I hate having them to put them through such challenges but I also know that, in time, these moments will form learning that will be so influential on their futures.
The prepared speeches included persuasive devices we’d learnt about and each learner would be persuading the rest of the class that they deserved the position of class rep.
We voted. A class rep was chosen. But that wasn’t really the point. It was a moment. Just one of those spine tingling, I love my job, moments.
Here is just one example of the many speeches given that makes me excited about the year ahead with this wonderfully diverse class. Their journey is only just beginning and I feel so privileged to be a part of it:
I’m not here to be average; I’m here to be real. Often we are deceived by individuals such as politicians or student representatives who lure us into an unrealistic world where leaders of any group are ‘perfect.’ They achieve this by simply using words. Those five letters influence our decisions greatly in a variety of ways that are both unthinkable and unbelievable. At this point, you are wondering how does this link to my position as Student Representative for the Sixth Form. Well, frankly I will be utilising my words to inform you about the task at hand and how willing I am to fight for it. And that is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In relationships of any kind, we all sometimes tell others what they want to hear and not the truth. However, I am not here to blind side you into creating an image of the perfect leader that I will be…because in all honesty…I’m just human. In Primary School, I had the perfect attendance, punctuality and very high grades and I felt like Rosa Parks, like I was about to change history. However, reality woke me up. For the first time in my life, I achieved the lowest grade on my report grade in Year 9; an F. I was humiliated, hurt and haunted by fear that I was never going to accomplish anything ever. But I learnt that failure does not define who we are but it shapes who we’re going to be. So I converted that F into A’s and B’s. It took hard work, determination, courageous and acceptance to know that failing once doesn’t make me less of a person…it just makes me human.
Do not focus on the fact that I was a Girl Guide or that I had work experience since I was fifteen because there will be individuals who are just like me. Perhaps, you can focus on what I am willing to do to represent us as the student body and what this experience will teach me as an individual. If I don’t get the position I would not feel like a failure because to me I’ve already won; keeping in mind one of my biggest fear is stage fright thou I have spoken in front of large crowds before but every time it feels like the first time and like everyone else I am nervous.
Nonetheless, a student representative should be someone who is informative, reliable, outspoken and organised but the main quality should be someone who is relatable. Look, for someone who is not self absorbed but someone who shares similar views and ideas or someone understands and listens to you…someone who walks the walk and talk the talk. Because actions prove who someone is and words prove who they want to be.
Here’s to more magic moments just like this.