Two intense 2-day workshops were held on 6&7 and 20&21 April 2016 in order to activate and initiate leadership qualities within the grade 6 and 7 learners of Van Wyksdorp Primary, these learners form part of the Green Butterflies, a green club established in 2015. The aim of this intense training was to maximize the training time in order to put these structures into place soonest.
The following Leadership structures were initiated in this year’s planning camp @Rooiberg Lodge:
- Bathroom monitors,
- Waste management team,
- Notice board managers,
- Spekboom team,
- Green club committee, and a
- Media team.
Learners selected a team to participate in and they were asked to brainstorm the structure for that team. They were asked to identify a leader within their team as well as understand what their roles will be, how they will go about maintaining that role. What the needs are, what the tools needed to implement it etc.
Here the learners were trained in Librarianship skills. Presently they are classifying all the books in the library, cleaning them and sorting them out for archiving. They will also have to be selective and discard books that are not relevant to the school library.
There are ideas around having a book sale once a month etc. to raise funds and sell off some of the irrelevant books and possible donations.
Miss Pfaff is the co-coordinating educator who will oversee the library and guide the learners.
There was enormous progress achieved in this regards.
Bathrooms have been equipped with hand soap sanitizer units, a ladies bin, towels, posters, etc..
The bathrooms were thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed and they look brand new. There are a few leaks and toilets that don’t work, but the toilets are now presentable.
WASTE MANAGEMENT TEAM
This team is responsible for the management of waste bins in the school. There are blue bins and metal bins. Each bin has a designated purpose. They have been placed out of the rain and in places where they will be used.
This team will keep notice boards current, tidy and relevant.
This team too was trained on how to place notices on boards with reference to appearance and neatness.
This is a joint grade 7 effort. There is very little connection between the seniors and the juniors.
This can cause many disciplinary problems at a school. The idea here is to show leadership by making sure that everyone is greeted in the mornings as they come to school. The greeters will create a welcoming feeling and a nurturing environment for the learners. This will increase the camaraderie among the learners and will benefit the development of role models, mentors.
This group has been created to make sure that the trees that were planted during Arbor day are cared for and watered.
Again a duty roster must be created so that it is structured.
GREEN CLUB COMMITTEE
This group was trained and has a clear structure. The learners must handle their weekly meetings run by the chair. In these meetings we recommend that each of the leadership teams give feedback as to how their team is doing, what their constraints are and also positive feedback, for example is the waste management system working? Why not? What can be improved? How can it be improved? What are the needs to make the improvements? Etc.
They should break up into their teams and discuss. Half way through the year when this is running smoothly we can take a look at initiating a project such as the food gardens.
This team needs assistance from an educator. The learners will be writing little two paragraphs articles on what the activities of the week at their school.
They can focus on the greeters one week etc. Mr Philander will be ideal to oversee this group as he is language educator. They will need a photo with each article and it should be typed up and e-mailed to friends of VWYKD Primary.
CONCLUSION and RECOMMENTATIONS
All the teams received intense skills training. We focused on changing attitudes and instilling new values in the system. We also worked on a shared vision of the school and so we are all on the same page. One must not be disillusioned by what may not seem to be working. This takes time. Habits will form and a new ethos created. We must keep positive and encourage the learners at all times. Love is the only way one learns. We must continue to teach with love and understanding.
Once the duty rosters have been drawn up they need to be pinned up on a board. The bathroom monitors for example must have their notice on the board closest to the bathroom. They can also have their rules pinned to that board.
There should be an educator from the school that will oversee the duties of each leadership team.
During assembly on a Monday or Friday the heads or leaders of the teams should each give feedback to the school. For example. Bathroom monitors would like to ask that the litter inside the toilets must be placed in the bin. Etc. It is one way to get them into those leadership roles as well as them fully participating in their assembly and taking responsibility on a different level.
The teams should introduce themselves at an assembly and explain to the rest of the school what their duties are and what the rules are and why this needs to be done. It can happen over two or three assemblies. This will immediately kick start their leadership roles.
A constant input from these learners should be present at assemblies.
A paper bin or box should be available in each classroom in order for the re-cycling to happen also in the classrooms.
This is all for now.
I wish the learners all the best for the roles they have to play in the school.
Green Butterflies Committee Members: Mr. S.C. Philander, Jameline Jacobs (sectrary), Kelvin Kaponya (Treasurer). FRONT: Megan Heskwa (chair) and Nacauttya Radeloff (deputy chair).
(Photo: M. Vaccaro)