The retreat began with a discussion about how we all are born with a certain temperament, introverted or extroverted for example. The students generated lists of the strengths of being these two temperaments and then the challenges or faults of many people with these temperaments. We discussed how everyone is different and how everyone has areas of strength and areas for improvement, but that no one needs to change who they are. The goal is to know who you are and consider what you need to improve in order to avoid harming others and to improve your own enjoyment of life as well. The students seemed to understand this and appreciate this discussion, but so did I! I found myself pondering over what my temperament is and thinking about the strengths and weaknesses that come with it... still thinking about actually...
The next part of the retreat had the students focus on their strengths and weaknesses as a group, as a fifth grade. They brainstormed, presented and discussed how these strengths and weaknesses manifest themselves in the day-to-day. They also worked in groups to create a variety of presentations - games, skits, songs, etc. to teach about these traits and to consider what the group needs to do to improve.
In addition, to lots of discussions there were teamwork games and we ended the retreat with a viewing of Karate Kid (the new one with Jayden Smith) - too cute!!!
While I returned overly-fed and exhausted from the non-stop schedule and time with the students, I was happy to have the time with the students, to watch friendships develop, to witness some ah-ha moments, and to have the time to reflect on my own growth. Great tradition, I recommend it for any class or school.
Here are some pics:
|This game was incredible! The person on the shoulders had a pin in their mouth and had to pop as many water balloons as he or she could without using his or her hands. The team that collected the most balloons won.|
|The kids LOVED it! I was scared that someone was going to swallow a pin...|
|Adorable discussions and teamwork.|
|Fire with marshmallow and wiener roasting. :-)|