I had a very enjoyable day last week running our Pozitive Kidz are happy kidz workshops for grade 3-6 students at Montmorency South Primary School.
It would have to be one of the friendliest schools I have been to in my ten years delivering student workshops and programs for primary and secondary schools. The organiser, Mandy, was very professional and the office staff, principal and teachers made me feel very welcomed.
Here’s the feedback I received after running the workshops:
“We all really enjoyed the sessions and the students have been practising the skills in the classroom. Many of them said they would have liked the sessions to be longer.
It was good to teach the students a few Tai Chi movements/strategies rather than overloading them with skills they won’t remember. Also, the visuals and props were a great way to demonstrate the strategies and keep the students involved and engaged”.
Well, ten years almost to the day, I delivered my first series of student wellbeing workshops for a secondary school and it was bad. After the sessions I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.
Here’s, perhaps, what made it such a bad experience for me;
- One of the year levels I was dealing with, I was told later, were the most difficult in the school
- Most of the students didn’t want to be there
- They scheduled me for afternoon sessions
- The temperature was about 35C degrees (about 100 degrees fahrenheit)
- There were no air conditioners in the hall or rooms
Although it all started with good intentions it ended poorly. But about three days later I reconsidered giving up and decided to have another go which I’m glad I did. So far I have taught students in over 100 primary and secondary schools: state, catholic and independent.
When I’m booked to run student wellbeing sessions I never know what sort of reaction I’ll get. With my years of experience working with youth (too many decades to mention) it’s always a challenge to quickly assess the culture of the school and where the students mindsets are during the time I have with them. That’s the reality but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love it when I have to occasionaly change my plan, on the spot, when the situation demands it. It sharpens my mind to become creative and when I discover something new that works, well, it feels great.
Yes, working with students you do get – The Good – The Bad – The Reality.