By Sruthi, Aman K and Kavita
On 19th June 2017, the newly appointed Senior Prefect team arrived for a Prefect training day that involved building teamwork, leadership and communication skills. We were met by volunteers of the Change Leadership Foundation, all of whom were extremely welcoming and guided us through many activities tailored towards helping us understand what makes an effective and efficient Senior Prefect.
Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to brainstorm key qualities that we all would like to develop as prefects, but it was also a chance to explore how we would deal with the challenges that lie ahead in order to consistently perform at a high standard and as a productive leader.
Although most of us were anxious with regards to the types of activities involved, Neel Parti, one of the leaders, made us feel comfortable around one another when he led the first short ice-breaker, which helped us get to know each other better. The most daunting aspect of the day for me was perhaps the trust exercise, when I had to fall backwards from a bench, with the mind-set that my team would be able to catch me. However, after this exercise, I felt relaxed amongst the other prefect members; this was a key activity, in which we, as a prefect team, understood the importance of trust in order for our team to work together.
The ‘STOP!’ exercises were the highlight of the day; in a way, they helped most of us to learn how to manage stressful situations by taking short breaks when we feel overwhelmed or anxious by the important roles we have to play as prefects. A ‘STOP!’ exercise is essentially a ‘time – out’ to increase one’s own self – awareness and refocus ourselves in a stressful situation. A key aspect of the exercise involves meditation which allows stillness and clarity in times of pressure. Overall, it is a great tool which is highly applicable to any situation we may encounter as prefects, during our A – level studies or for anyone in our school environment.
We also took part in many other group activities aimed at developing our abilities to work efficiently as a team, especially in challenging situations. Not only did we learn about the specific skills we were improving in each of the activities, be it a blindfolded trust exercise or navigating our way through a matrix, we also learnt and discussed ways in which these skills could be applied to our roles as prefects. This was especially interesting as it opened many of our eyes to how small factors can come together to make a big difference in terms of our actions as prefects.
Speaking on behalf of the whole prefect team, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we look forward to the challenges and trials that lie ahead.