All 8th graders started a Leadership Training course today in their respective advisory classes. The first part of the course focused on communication skills and its relationship to leadership. We completed several activities to find out more about active speaking and active listening.

During the first activity, students were paired up and sat back to back. They were told to talk for one minute each about a specific topic. This was followed by the same set of students sitting next to each other talking about a specific topic, but they could not turn their heads and look at each other. The final part of this activity was face to face communication. The students discovered that they all prefer different styles of communication but they did make some generalizations.

  • Boys tended to like the back and back communication where they didn’t have to look in somebody else’s eye.
  • Girls tended to like the face to face communication because they fed off their partners feedback and body language.

It will be interesting to see if these attributes are true for the entire 8th grade!

Our second activity had students pair up once again and each student drew a simple drawing without showing it to their partners. Then students sat back to back and one person described their drawing to their partner without the partner asking clarifying questions. The next part of this activity had the students switch roles, but students could now ask clarifying questions.

Students discovered how all of the components of communication work together. They became aware of the skill of effectively listening to another person and discovered the difference between listening and not listening.

Where is all of this going? After the leadership training is complete, all students will choose one of seven leadership groups to be a part of in the 8th grade for the remainder of the year. The leadership groups will be working with all students across all grade levels in Pudong, helping to keep our small community just that!

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