Peace cadre was a student body created to resolve disciplinary issues like bullying. It was a vital organization that was created to ensure a peaceful environment for all the students, teachers and staff. I was in charge of 3 sections of Grade 10 along with my peer. We were already informed that handling grade 10 will be a bit trickier than all the other grades, but we were up for the challenge. This initiative required us to go to classes, make observations then act upon any issues that we saw or that were reported. We weren’t supposed to shout or give the students any consequences we were supposed to talk to them make them understand our perspective and at the same time understand how they felt.
All the 7 learning outcomes were achieved through this experience.
Learning outcome 1: I have always been passionate about such initiatives because it lets me give back and help people. I have always been keen about student bodies because I like to take initiatives, it helps me practice leadership and problem solving as well. I think being passionate about this was one of my strengths because it didn’t just mean I was going it for the sake of my LOR or my CAS credit, it was because I genuinely wanted to. Another strength was how well I could communicate with others and explain them. I have always thought of myself being good at explaining and persuading people (unpaid counselor:P). The main thing of our duty was to communicate, explain, and resolve issues so it really helped build a connection with the students. More than weaknesses we face challenges that I’ll be covering in LO2.
Learning outcome 2: One of the biggest issues was that these kids were just a year younger than us, some of us were even our friends. This one thing led to them not taking us seriously at times, but we had to come through. We had to act a bit strict and unbiased for them to know that we weren’t going to let personal relations affect our duties. I have been in a lot of roles where my friends felt I would favor them because of my ‘position’ but I have always been able to refrain from doing that and did that this time as well. Also in some cases, I let my partner take up situations I couldn’t handle or if one of the students was his friend I would take up the issue instead of him to handle it better. Another thing was that often times people wouldn’t really open up to us because they felt that we were against them. It took a lot of time and effort to make them speak up and understand the severity of situations.
Learning outcome 3: Even though the student body was created by the school everything else was left to us, how we want to handle it, how we plan it, and how we organize it. We had to plan when we went for observations and how to deal with a certain type of scenario, which was easy to some extent but the implementation was hard. Often time something or the other came up, or we simply forgot to go for the observation. However, due to this we learnt how to organize ourselves better and also time management skills which will be really helpful in the long run (especially for IB). Knowing how to plan things is an important life skill because we may need to plan events, meetings, or even small things like creating your work time table.
Learning outcome 4: We had taken up a huge duty and we had to stay committed. Commitment isn’t a huge problem if you are passionate about something, which I was. Even though there were some challenges as mentioned before we had to find a way through and make it work. Even though our efforts weren’t persistent throughout the journey do to some reasons we tried our best I could and maybe if given a change we could do it better. Being committed is important because taking responsibilities won’t work if you run away from your duties.
Learning outcome 5: Working with others is usually not very difficult for me, in fact I really like to work with other people. In this instance it was an advantage because maybe my partner could deal with some situations better than I did or vice versa. In this case he was my friend so we could talk and communicate openly about any issues and come up with the best possible solution. We used to switch our turns in case the other isn’t free, so there was an understanding between us we helped us do our job better. This clearly shows the advantages and importance of working in groups.
Learning outcome 6: Bullying is an important and prevalent issue, and it can really harm someone’s mental wellbeing so it is important to put a stop to it or at least minimize it as much as possible. I knew the impact bullying can have due to my past experiences with it and I didn’t want anyone to go through it. Even the bully themselves faces issues that need to be solved. Bullying really harms the learning environment. I have always felt strong against bullying and this gave me an opportunity to explore it in more depth and also tackle it which makes me feel accomplished. It makes me more aware of the situations and conditions around me and teaches me to be warier of my actions.
Learning outcome 7: Most important decisions were between who and what is right and wrong and deciding that wasn’t easy. Also, our role was to make them understand the choice of their actions and words. At the same time, we had to make sure not to abuse the power given to us by misguiding them, favoring someone or giving harsh consequences. I knew we can’t punish the bully we need to make them understand the consequences of what they did and also we had to try and understand the reason why they did what the did. Even when dealing with someone you already know we knew we couldn’t favor them if they were wrong so we had to do what we had to do.
Overall, this experience helped in a lot of ways. It taught me how to be reflective about my own behavior and actions. Caring about other people and their well-being, in making sure they get a good environment in school. Open-minded in listening and understanding students’ opinions. Communicator while explaining and catering to issues, it’s important to listen and understand and communicate properly. This helped in developing our thinking skills, communication skills, social skills and also problem-solving skills. I am really happy I took this up and I would do it again if I could, it gave me a feeling of accomplishment seeing what we did.