Saturday, May 07, 2016

Being Balanced: A question with an answer.

Recently in Advisory, I have been working on a project to answer the question: "What issue personally affects your world the most profoundly right now?". Each 8th grade student was given the opportunity to respond to this question and to do something about it.

My issue: Being Balanced
My advisor: Ms. Macek
My Group: Ava Hillman, Lucas Marangoni, Rosanne van Ballegooijen


Describe your initial reactions to this project. What did you think?
My first reaction to this project was confusion as to what the purpose was for this and what our first activities were leading to. In the first advisory session we had on this project, we were brainstorming the issues that affected us daily. After a few more sessions, as the project became clearer and clearer, my confusion was turning into interest on how I could actually do something for the community. 

Did you complete a project?
I was luckily able to complete a project. I was part of a small group of three students (including myself) that had a meeting with the directors of the Middle School to discuss a new schedule arrangement that would focus on reducing stress and increasing efficiency in our Middle School. 

Our schedule:

Our Prezi for the directors during the meeting:

How hard was it for you to decide upon a project? What motivated you?
Deciding on the issue wasn't that hard for me. I knew from previous reflections that lack of balance is something that is really present in my life. As a result, now that I had this opportunity to do something about it, I took it. My group and I at first were unsure of how we could tackle this problem, as there are many different factors involved, many of which are ones we cannot control. The schedule was something that popped into our heads, and as none of us had any ideas that were better than this, we went with it and tried to improve it. 

Was the process effective for you? (Time, space, guidance/support, team, etc.)
For me, the process was not that effective. The atmosphere in which I was working on this project wasn't really motivating, as many other groups in my advisory were not going to do anything. Also, I think that more structure in the beginning would have been helpful, as my group and I wasted 2-3 advisories doing things (researching information that didn't fit with our topic) that were in the end never useful to us. Time and organisational wise, I think that if my group and I had had a little more time to process everything and prepare, we would have been even more ready for our meeting than we ended up being. 

What was the most rewarding part of this project for you?
The most rewarding part of this project for me was going to the meeting and presenting our ideas. It was the final part of our project, and that is really what we were working towards the whole time. 

What was the most difficult part of this project for you?
The most difficult part of this project for me was being organised. In the beginning we had a thought out plan, but in the end, with things such as long weekend and Little 8, we lost some time and organisation. At one point, I completed parts of our presentation at home, as I knew that we would not have time to do that at school and such. 

What would you change about the process?
A part of this process that I would change, is time. As I had mentioned before, if we'd had had more time to work on this, then we would have been more prepared and organised and ready to go into the meeting. 

What would you tell a future 8th grader about this project?
People always tell you that one person can make a difference. But that person can only make a difference if they actually take action. In this project, you have the opportunity to take action, so take advantage of it and make use of the things that you could achieve from it. 

Do you recommend 8th grade advisors attempt something like this project again? (Was it worth it?)
I would recommend advisors to do something like this again, but change it by making it more effective. For example, advisors could give examples of things we could do, tell us what the point is of this project from the start, and structure the beginning of the project more. 

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