My first experience as a Take Ten participant was different than expected. When I walked into the classroom, I expected to discuss conflict and fighting as abstract ideas instead of a reality. After five minutes with the Washington High School students, I realized how violence impacts their day to day activities. Through discussion, the students conveyed how fighting and retaliation were commonplace. I came from a private high school where violence meant harsh words and little action. Here, students know of or experience physical violence on a weekly, if not daily, occurrence. This new perspective left me feeling defeated, privileged, and sympathetic.
I also teach Take Ten at Perley Primary Fine Arts Academy. Here, the atmosphere is completely different. The students are friendly and upbeat, anxiously waiting to learn from the college volunteers. These students willingly participated in activities and engaged in discussion. This left me wondering how fourth grade students go from this stage of innocence to the mentality of high school students have regarding violence.
These experiences will help me understand how and why violence and bullying has infiltrated our school systems. Take Ten helps change the way children deal with conflicts. Through Take Ten, I hope to give our students some new ways of approaching conflict so peaceful and respectful interactions can occur in the future.