Amaya and Taylor applied for this position through our Banqer (Financial Literacy) programme and took on the responsibility of this role.
We knew as a whole class that we had lost the fine art of working together as a team and taking the time to listen to others' ideas. So the PE monitor's goal was to find a game where everyone had to participate and work together.
One afternoon, on a miserable day, Taylor and Amaya set up a fun activity in the hall for our students to participate in. To make it extra tricky, we had extra students from Mrs Foley's class that they don’t usually work with. We arrived at the hall to a crazy-looking path laid out across the hall.
Amaya and Taylor shared the objective of the game:
Get your whole team to the other side of the hall carrying a bucket of water and back without touching the ground.
So we began by splitting the group into two groups. Boys versus girls.
The boys cheered and yelled, “That’s so easy! We will easily beat the girls!”. The boy's group took off in a hiss and a roar while the girls stood on the sideline and watched.
Amaya and Taylor carefully monitored for any toes touching the ground. Some of the boys suddenly realised once they were squished up at one end that they still needed to get back to the start. They quickly devised a plan and safely made it back to the beginning, satisfied with their 2 minutes and 52 seconds time.
The girl's team took the task seriously and had a plan of action, watching every move the boys made and working out how they could improve on that and beat the boy's time.
The girls got ready, waiting for the PE monitors to let them begin. “Go!” yelled Amaya. The girl's team took off, and step by step, moving with no water splashes. They knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Some people got disqualified when Amaya and Taylor's eagle eyes spotted toes touching the ground. The girls weren’t giving up, even as the water sloshed around in the bucket. They moved with speed and agility and managed to get back to home base. The girls were so tired, so when Taylor said, ‘’your time was 1 minute 48 seconds!’’ the girls began to yell and jump in excitement. The boys all yelled ’’how did they win? That's not fair because they got to watch us first!’’ as they took it in, they thought the girls had won, and that was the end of it all.
Amaya and Taylor gave the boys one more chance. The boys got given 5 minutes to prepare before their time started. The boys' group realised they needed to work together as a team and choose another team leader to guide them. Not just someone good at sports but someone who has good communication skills. The boys got their plan, and they took off! They talked the whole way through, supporting each other verbally and encouraging each other so they could get to the end and back as quickly as possible. The boys raced around, and although a few got out by stepping on the ground, they kept communicating and sticking with their plan. They got back to the beginning, looking at Taylor and Amaya nervously. Taylor finally put them out of their misery and announced, “Your time was 1 minute…..” she hesitated, “34 seconds!”. The boys erupted in cheer and celebrated with hugs and high-fives.
These skills have been easily transferred into the rest of our work. For example, when working in groups for our #LoveTaupō projects, many realised that sometimes you need a leader to hear each other out before going in blind and doing things quickly. As part of this, they also realised that coming up with a plan of action before beginning can go a long way and help activities, class work, and games run much more smoothly. In addition, students work together in team games and use communication skills to hear each other out, not just relying solely on the person known to be good at the activity.