LO1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
For my CAS project, I was President of the debate team. Throughout my experiences in gr 10 as vice president, I recognised my strengths and the abilities I wanted to develop.
- Leadership skills. Throughout gr 10, I had a lot of practice developing my leadership skills through hosting many debate meetings with junior and senior members, particularly by making decisive decisions and having good plans to undertake these decisions. For example, this year the debate team’s main priorities were to develop the junior division and mock trial division, and this was enacted when deciding which competitions the debate team should participate in this year. I met with the club supervisor and other executive members to decide, and we aimed to participate in as many as possible, particularly ones which were geared towards younger kids (grades 7-10). I recognised that this would encourage younger kids with less experience or who are more timid to join and allow our club to have longevity.
- Organizational skills. I made a Google drive folder for exec team business, with subfolders for junior and senior debate. We also had meeting plans and teaching layouts and plans. I developed other related skills in gr 11, such as sending weekly email reminders for meetings and making sure to come to meetings on time.
- Delegating. In gr 12, I delegated simpler roles like email reminders to other executive members. Also, we arranged for one exec to be in charge of the senior division and one exec to be in charge of the junior division, to allow for better efficiency. I oversaw these divisions and went to both junior and senior meetings. We also met once a week with our supervisor to go over how things were progressing.
- Speaking/debating. One of the weaknesses I worked on was my debate skills, participating in numerous competitions. I found it important to continually evaluate my own speaking skills, not only to set an example for other members but as a means of self-improvement. I also really enjoy debating so it was an extremely rewarding experience.
- Time management. At points, signing up for different competitions and not balancing them with my schoolwork properly lead my grades to suffer.
- Encouraging consistent participation. I found it to be a very difficult journey these past few years trying to increase interest in debate. After a majority of members left the school in grade 10, I had to find a new group of people to join debate. Particularly in the junior division, attendance was inconsistent; in gr 11, we had to stop holding meetings for the junior division after Christmas because people stopped coming! These setbacks made me upset and disappointed in myself. This year, we made sure to increase advertising in the form of both posters and emails (last year we had mainly used emails) and we also made activities more fun. We also have an exec member in 8th grade, who brought in more members. All of this resulted in us bringing a beginner team to participate in 1 junior competition! Although numbers are decreasing again, there are more consistent and devoted junior members than before..