By Kathleen Krah
I teach Take Ten to two very different groups of students- a class of energetic 2nd graders and a group of high school upperclassmen who lead Take Ten mentoring groups for underclassmen. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many of these kids and help as they grow through Take Ten. As a senior at Notre Dame, I have really enjoyed stepping out of the ND “bubble” and getting involved with the South Bend community through the Robinson Center.
The second graders are hilarious. When a question is asked, hands thrust towards the ceiling and wave back and forth, determined to be selected and then to give the right answer. However, when we pose a conflict scenario and ask what the passive, aggressive, and assertive options for conflict resolution are, the students struggle to understand the difference between assertive and passive behavior. Oftentimes, they suggest aggressive behaviors or passive behaviors as the only alternatives in these conflict scenarios. Learning the new vocabulary thru Take Ten changes the way they think about their options in conflict, and it’s been really neat to watch as the students pick up on it.
In contrast, the high school students generally already know most of the key terminology and official teachings of Take Ten. Learning these strategies is a critical first step. Last week, the students brainstormed a list of conflicts and then split up into groups and created skits of possible resolutions, considering consequences and incorporating other Take Ten principles in a pro/con analysis of each option. I was amazed by the thought the students put into this activity. I think the students learned a lot from this activity, as it gave them an opportunity to think and create solutions to these common scenarios outside of the heat of the moment so that when they come up in the future, they are prepared to apply Take Ten to resolve the conflict.