MYP Final Reflection: Chiang mai CAS Week Experience

  1. How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

I became aware of my strengths and areas of growth all throughout the MYP. However I feel like I learnt and discovered the most about my strengths and areas of growth throughout my CAS trips. Throughout my CAS trip to Chiang Mai, I became aware of my ability to communicate and connect with new people so quickly. I had initially gone on this CAS trip with only one friend. Before I knew it, I was talking to almost everybody on the trip and had made many new friends. Before this CAS trip, I had always considered myself to be very shy when meeting new people. This CAS trip has enabled me to communicate with people I don’t know more effectively without being nervous. An area of growth that I discovered throughout this CAS trip for me was my leadership skills. I realised that every activity we did, I wasn’t volunteering for any leadership roles. Even when I was with my friends, I wouldn’t be the one to make decisions for the group. To improve this, next year I am planning on volunteering as a group leader.

  1. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

I undertook challenges and overcame new skills in several different ways. To undertake my shyness of meeting new people, I decided to start small. I started by forcing myself to start discussion with my roommates even though I didn’t know them at all before the trip. After this, I went to the next closest person and started talking to the boys in the rooms next door. Before I knew it, I was talking to almost everyone on the entire trip and I had made many new friends. This led to me overcoming my shyness when meeting new people.

  1. How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student initiated activities?

For this CAS trip to Chiang Mai, I volunteered with another student to create the CAS week video for our trip. Me and the other student involved in the creation of the film had to discuss and form a plan for the video. We had to consider different aspects and evaluate different clips to select what would be involved in the video. This is an example of another student and I discussing, evaluating and planning student initiated activities.

  1. How did you persevere in action?

I persevered in action when we were building the school for disabled children, Thomas House, in Chiang mai. Almost everyday of our trip, we took a minibus to go to a building site where we spent several hours doing cement work, planting, moving bricks to help and build a school for less privileged disabled children in the area to provide education for everyone. Despite it being very hard and tiring, I kept going till the very last second we were at the school which is an example of me persevering in action.

  1. How did you work collaboratively with others?

I worked collaboratively with others on several different occasions. Firstly, as mentioned above, I was working in a team with another student to create a CAS week summary video. As also mentioned previously, we had a lot of service work to do to help build the school for disabled children. For this task, we were divided into smaller groups and each group was given different task. We had to work collaboratively with out group to divide the workload of each task and allocate a job for every group member. These are only two examples of many where I had to work collaboratively with others during my CAS week trip.

  1. How did you develop international- mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding?

My CAS week trip to Chiang Mai enabled me to develop international mindedness through a variety of methods. The methods in which I developed my international mindedness the most is global engagement as well as intercultural understanding. Firstly, this CAS week was all about engaging abroad (globally) in local, unprivileged communities. One of the activities we did was playing games and getting some time to talk with local school kids. This enabled us to get exposure to not only the local language in Chiang Mai but also part of the culture and therefore bveliefs of the locals. Despite there being some language barrier between us and the locals, we were still able to communicate using the bit of understanding of each others language we had as well as other methods. This really enabled me to develop open mindedness by getting another perspective on life by someone living a very different life from me. I felt this experience was truly special and one I am not ready to forget about.

  1. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

I was able to consider the ethical implications of my actions in this trip by getting an understanding of how fortunate I am for being born in such a privileged environment and living very comfortably compared to others around the world. It’s almost as of this trip slightly humbled me. This trip really brought me down to earth. This made be more considerate of all my actions and everything that is given to me now. This experience made me consider whether I really need a lot of the things I have today and has led me to become much more careful about my actions and expenses. Every-time I’m going to do something such as make a purchase or take a taxi, I consider whether or not it is necessary and if I really have to suit everything to my comfort.

My Community and Service Action

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
During my time at this school, I became more aware of my own strengths and areas of growth through service. An example of me becoming aware of my strengths and discovering some areas for growth was when I decided to babysit my neighbours. My neighbours were going out and needed someone to watch the children. I volunteered to do it for free. I realised that I wasn’t very good at communicating with people that are not my age and have similar interest as me. I discovered that it was an are for growth. This experience babysitting my neighbours also made me discover an area of strength because I found our I was very confident taking leadership and encouraging them do to things that they wouldn’t usually do. I discovered that one of my areas of strength was taking leadership.

Service Day Refletcion

Overall, I thought that today was really fun because we were able to learn a lot by doing fun outdoor activities. At first, when we were told that the boat trip and the beach cleanup was cancelled, I was expecting a very boring day ahead. We started out the day by brainstorming questions and listening to Boyan Slat’s plan to clean the ocean from plastic. Then we had someone from Plastic Free Seas to come in and give a presentation explaining how plastic is coming into the ocean and how we need to stop it. I found this presentation very interesting and it really impacted what I think. I never knew that so much of our plastic waste goes straight to the ocean. Then, we did a mini lab where we used microscopes to zoom in on plankton samples. I found this really cool because planktons are actually transparent and there eyes are huge compared to their bodies. Then, we went on a hike near the Aberdeen Marina Club near the harbour where we were looking into the water to see if the water was dirty and if we could distinguish any signs of plastic. We saw so much plastic in the water and we found out that all the plastic waste that was on the side walk, when it rains, it falls into the sewage which goes straight to the ocean water. We also crossed the fish market and it was really dirty and so much waste was thrown straight back into the ocean. It smelled really bad and the floor was full of waste. This walk really enabled us to see what everything we learnt from the presentation looks like. Overall, I found this day a fun way of teaching us the impacts of plastic waste.

CAS Week Learner Profile Reflection

This CAS trip to Sabah, Malaysia has enabled to me demonstrate many IB learner profiles. The first night in Sabah, we met the guides and learnt the ground rules. All of the guides were really nice. For next two days we did a lot of service, we built a volleyball court and made a shelter for local schools mixing a total of fifty five tonnes of concrete by hand. The next day, we went on a three hour long jungle trek into the forest where we had to set up our own hammocks and sleep in the jungle. We were giving limited food so we had to manage the food and make sure there was enough food for every meal. The final day, we did two fun activities. First, we did some white water rafting and then we ended the day with zip line. Overall I found this trip really fun.

 

This reflection will be covering two examples of when I demonstrated IB learner profiles during this CAS trip. First, I will be explaining on how I demonstrated Risk Taking and then I will proceed by explaining how I demonstrated Communicating. I demonstrated Risk Taking many times throughout the trip. One of the most memorable moments when I demonstrated Risk Taking was when we went on the jungle trek, our group needed two leaders who decided when our group was going to take breaks and how we were going to organise the food. I volunteered to be a group leader and it demonstrated Risk Taking because I don’t often show my leadership skills.

 

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The second IB learner profile that I demonstrated during this CAS trip was Communicating. I really demonstrated my Communicating skills was when were were building the volleyball court and shelter. We were building with students and teachers from CDNIS but locals were also involved to make sure that we were doing everything correctly. If we were unsure about something that teachers probably couldn’t answer we would need to find ways to Communicate with locals and get information back. I also demonstrated my Communication skills when I was one of the two leaders. We needed to discuss things and then pass the information to the group. This involved talking to about 20 people which is not what I do on a daily basis. Thus I was demonstrating Communicating skills. Overall, this CAS trip to Sabah, Malaysia has been really fun and has enabled me to demonstrate myself as a communicator and a Risk Taker.

 

CAS Week Reflection

1. How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
Throughout this CAS trip to Sabah, we did many activities. Within these activities, there were aspects that I was good at and parts where I wasn’t so good. Thinking back on the activities, I know what I could improve on and what I did well. For example, when we went on the jungle trek I knew that I wasn’t very good with cooking so I couldn’t help out. I believe that I could have at least tried. I also learnt how to be more comfortable speaking to larger groups of people.

 

2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
I undertook my fear of speaking to large groups when we were talking about things we could improve. This developed my Risk Taking and Communicator skills. On the second night night we had to give something that we did well and something that we could improve on. We were speaking to about sixty students and a couple of teachers which is a lot of people.

3. How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student initiated activities?
I was one of the group leaders when we went on the jungle trek so it was my job to lead the group. When we got to the came site and we had nothing to do, we decided to organise some games. We decided to give everybody turns at the games and see what other people wanted to do so everybody could have fun.

4. How did you persevere in action?
I showed perseverance in the jungle trek. It was really long and we barely took any breaks. We were all getting very tired but we kept pushing through even though there was no sign of any campsite. I believe that many people showed perseverance during the jungle trek, not only me.

5. How did you work collaboratively with others?
I worked collaboratively with others throughout the whole trip but the time where it was very important to work as a group was on the first day when we built a volleyball court and a shelter for local kindergarten kids. There were many jobs for us to do and there were only a few of us so we had to divide the jobs equally and helped each do the hard jobs.