A large portion of the LeAd election process is over and phew that was really intimidating.
I’m glad it’s over and done though, and I’m really really grateful for all that has been given to me as well. So I’ll start with a breakdown of the election process:
note: this year I applied for the Leadership Studies Committee (LSC)
Interviews for Shortlist
Everyone who applied for the LeAd was given an interview with the teachers and the student leaders from the years before. My interview was with Ms. Cynthia and Lemuel and a large part of it was focused on what I might want to do if I were in the LeAd. I think a lot of what I talked about was about opening up leadership platforms for the student population. I know this is something that is repeated time and again but I really do think this is very important, especially so in the younger years, starting young to equip them with the skills to take on more pivotal leadership roles as they go into the upper years.
For example, in the LeAd itself, there are very very few Year 3 and Year 4 roles. Yet, when we hit Year 5, so many more roles open up and there’s this whole influx of new students joining the LeAd as well. I think it’s important that even in Year 3 and 4, where interested students might not have the chance to join student leadership bodies like LeAd are provided platforms to learn more about leadership and develop their skills as well.
Something that I raised during this interview was the possibility of a leadership conference organised by SOTA. I do believe that we have quite a unique way of doing things here, and in organising a leadership conference and sharing it with other schools in Singapore as well as with our own students, we will be able to better understand the way we work ourselves. Perhaps students who are not in LeAd can also sign up to be facilitators for the conference, working aside students who are in the LeAd to jointly organise and facilitate this conference for the rest of the student body as well.
Shortlist: Running for Exco
After the interviews, the Year 5 students were shortlisted to be in the LSC. From which we had to run to be part of the exco. We had to give a speech to the school talking about perhaps what we might like to do if we were in the LSC etc. Honestly, this was pretty nerve-wrecking, especially with the time limit. I usually do not have an issue with public speaking at all but I was actually really nervous before the speech. I think it had to do with the fact that firstly, this meant a lot to me and secondly, the people we were speaking to were going to be voting for us which is quite (very) intimidating, no?
Either way, it was nerve-wrecking and I think I stumbled a bit but what’s done is done! I think partially it was due to the fact that I’d just presented for Listen for Haiyan less than a minute before my LSC speech so I was a bit jumbled up. Note to self: do not plan very contrasting speeches one after another!!
Running for positions in the Exco
More speeches, oh no, and longer speeches this time! I was really grateful to get the chance to be part of the LSC Exco and this time we were running for the specific positions.
This speech I remember more of because I think I was able to speak more sincerely with the longer time frame. One of the most important learning points I encountered last year was planning Fun Day with the juniors and so this was something I incorporated into my speech. Prior to this, I think we, the Year 4 2013 comms members, were rather detached from the Year 3s. We’d spoken to them a bunch of times and all but we’d never worked together closely. And I have to admit, initially when I started working with them I got a bit annoyed.
The annoyance sprung from a series of miscommunications I suppose, where we weren’t sure as to what the other party wanted and what we as a collective planning committee wanted. But somehow as the planning continued on, I don’t know where it happened but we started to get on better terms, being able to joke with each other in the process of planning.
I cannot pin point an actual time but that was one of the most satisfying moments, forging that connection with the (current) Year 4s and being able to work with them in that manner. That really reminded me as to how important it is to get to know the people you are working with and build a relationship with them! It really gets things done faster and in a more enjoyable manner.
So this morning the email was sent out and I was elected LSC Chair. I really am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I feel like the school has given me many platforms in order to develop myself, both as a leader and as a person. And I do acknowledge that perhaps not everyone might get as many opportunities. So moving forward what I really hope to be able to do is to open up these platforms to the rest of the student population in order to be able to engage everyone who wishes to be able to as well.
There is no hiding the fact that ultimately, the LeAd is a rather small group of students in comparison to the rest of the student population but I think what we should be doing is using the opportunity that the school has given us in order to give them greater opportunities.
Moving forward, all this is very fresh and new to me as well. As a leader and a person I have so much more to catch up on and learn, including watching my tongue and my mind. I’m very grateful for the opportunity given to me and I hope that over the course of this year I’m able to step up to it and give back to the school.
It’s all very intimidating, especially with the onset of IB. Even now, I can feel the pressure start to kick in – Math test and Physics IA on Wednesday, Film Shoot tmr, CAS reflections etc. etc. But hopefully I’ll be able to manage my time and deal with the LeAd on top of all of this. I hope to be able to give my all so… let’s see how it goes!