Zach Kaplan, GBP Student
“Because it's the law.” one student touted. “My parents even said the courtyard was used as the designated smoking area back in the 1980’s.”, a different student remarked as the debate continued on whether or not tobacco should be allowed on school property. It was one of a few contentious issues debated amongst Greater Boston Project students in a recent GBP class. Students were split into three groups, and from then split into four smaller groups. Each group took turns discussing remedies to current school issues including placement of substitute teachers, the tobacco policy at NHS, fitness center hours and school start times. Students had 3 minutes to present their issues to a group, then 5 minutes to take questions from a three-person panel, and finally 2 minutes of feedback from observing onlookers. The standoffs between different students were interesting to see as often times, the temperature rose during times of rebuttal. There was a quick debrief where students and teachers talked about how presenters can improve for the future, in addition to the feedback given by the small groups initially.
This activity was comprised in preparation for not only the upcoming Community Action Project (CAP), but to help improve life skills as students will need to know how to prepare and present proposals in the not-so-distant future. Students were able to get valuable experience in terms of framing questions about issues, as well as presenting their sides on why their proposals would work.These experiences are important as they help students prepare for some of life’s important tasks, a main takeaway so far from many students in the Greater Boston Project.
Crucial scenarios such as making a proposal to a group and answering questions without being flustered are important skills to know, especially for the numerous GBPers who will likely enter the business world or other professions in which this is a regular practice. They will need mastery of the traits needed to be successful making proposals. I know I will need to make proposals for myself or speak for groups when it comes to making changes. Being able to verbally disarm concerns and field questions about an idea or implementation without getting flustered is important in any career path, and certainly something I will use in my life.
GBP Students present proposals and field questions as part of a practice activity. (Photo by Ms. Tincher)
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