CAS Interview Reflection

On Monday, I had my CAS interview with Mr. Durok. In it, I detailed the things I have done, doing right now and am planning to do with my CAS projects. We mainly talked about what my main projects were and what I am hoping to achieve in them. Both for myself and for the people who I am helping.

For Creativity and Service, I am doing the Sekolah Bisa Band, led by Y12 students as it is a new project. So far we are in a group of 3 and we have been teaching the Sekolah Bisa kids music. (Obviously). 2 kids learning to play accompaniment with the piano while the rest a focusing with the ukulele. Seung Hun is focusing on the ukulele while I am primarily focused on teaching the kids piano. Aisha is focused on singing as we are a band, we have been teaching the kids Indonesian songs such as “Laskar Pelangi”, as well as pop songs such as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. Of course with them being Sekolah Bisa kids, having a basic understanding of the Indonesian language is helpful in communicating. Teaching the kids has proven to be challenging as they are easily distracted and easily bored. The kids at the piano give up way too easily and they way that you are supposed to have your hands at the piano hurts their hands they say. Unfortunately, they have to get over that if they want to play properly. The kids are also prone to complaining if things don’t go their way. However, I am determined to teach the kids the beauty in music and how to play the instruments properly. Teaching someone music is something that I’ve always been interested in and the satisfaction you get when you see your student finally succeeding on that part which they have been struggling for so long thanks to your help, is a feeling that is hard to replicate by anything else in the world. Because teaching requires commitment to give other people education in a subject and the creativity to make the lesson interesting, I put it in creativity and service. I also believe I have addressed these learning outcomes:

LO2: I undertake challenges. I develop new skills. Teaching is something I have never done, apart form the brief experience I had with the ATL conference. I could perhaps improve upon my performance at the conference. Teaching is definitely a challenge, especially with kids as they tend to shift their focus very easily. I need to find someway to keep them engaged throughout the lesson.

LO5: I demonstrate collaborative skills. I recognise the benefits of collaboration. Since it’s a band, we obviously have to work together with our instruments to make music. Along with my group members and the Sekolah Bisa kids, I am sure that we can play a full song together.

LO3: I plan and initiate. Obviously teaching requires a plan for the lesson. Sticking to that plan will prove to be difficult, however.

For Activity, I do my regular training sessions in PE which is Cardio. In which I do various exercises that benefit and improve cardiovascular strength (which is fancy talk for heart strength). I also do regular tennis sessions on Monday and Thursday. I hope to improve my serving technique and be able to consistently win games in tennis. I also need to work on my footwork as footwork in tennis is just as important as it is in football, in my opinion. Reason being that you have to move fast and be at the right distance to hit the ball just right. For my regular PE training, I was able to run 2100 meters in 12 minutes. That will serve as a guide to how well I am doing. To aid me, I am also taking regular training sessions every Wednesday morning with Mr. Metters which is vigorous to put it lightly. Because of this I believe I have achieved these learning outcomes:

LO1: I identify my strengths. I identify areas for growth. Exercising to get fitter and better is no easy task. In order to get better you need identify where you’re strong at, where you’re weak at, and take action accordingly to strengthen your weak points.

LO4: I show commitment. I persevere. Exercising to get fitter also takes determination and the will to progress. Without it, you won’t get anywhere in life.

I still have to address the last two learning outcomes which I can hopefully do with new projects popping up in the coming months. I can’t wait to progress with this!

CAS: Activity Progress

CAS enables students to grow and learn about themselves more. It shows how committed you are to something. The Activity in CAS makes students lead a healthy lifestyle by focusing on training and getting better in the sports you do or just by working out. Currently I am doing 2 things that are suitable for my CAS, my current PE lesson at school I do Cardio workouts, and Tennis before school.

For my first Cardio workout I was required to jog non-stop for 12 minutes along the 300 meter track on the main field. This was to show how fit I was and will serve as a guiding point for my future workouts. In that 12 minutes I ran 2100 meters which is equivalent to 7 whole laps in 12 minutes. I am quite happy with this result and hopefully it will improve by the end of this activity. Slow and steady really does win the race as by jogging slowly you use less energy than if you were running normally. In Cardio, you are required to do exercises that are designed to increase your cardiovascular fitness which decreases your resting heart rate. Exercises such as interval training where you have to go for 100% sprints with long rests in between, or Fartlek training where you have to run at different speeds while still maintaining your energy. The purpose of these exercises is endurance, and in sports you are required to endure long games and matches to keep playing. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at interval training at first. Sprinting your all with 3-5 minute rests in between doesn’t seem that hard. Until I realised that at the end of every sprint, you’re going to be exhausted and each sprint will just get more fatigued with lactic acid build up and in the middle of it all, you just treasure the amount of time you have to rest. I have done similar types of exercises before with Mr. Metters every Wednesday morning. His training lessons are nothing short of vigorous. I started taking his morning training sessions long before IB and I strongly believe that participating in those sessions helped me get 2100 meters in 12 minutes. I look forward into seeing how I progress with Cardio!

I started learning tennis when I was in Year 3. I eventually stopped because it got a bit boring. But I am back into it and I am more enthusiastic than ever. With guidance from my coach, I have gotten a lot better than I was. I can serve more consistently, I can hold a rally of up to 40 shots, I can carefully place the balls where I want it to go and more. I have only entered one friendly competition in BSJ. Unfortunately, I got beat the first round. Looking back, I was really inexperienced compared to the person I was up against. I did put a good fight though. I guess I was just nervous since it was my first time participating in something like this. So, my target for the next competition that I will attend: to be able to get past the first round. Maybe the second round as an added bonus. Footwork is important in tennis, and looking back, I could have moved around more to give my opponent less chance to catch me off-guard. I will definitely put some work into that.

I look forward to seeing my fitness grow in CAS’s Activity segment!


ATLs: Learning to learn

In absence of some teachers being away on residential, we at Year 12 had a productive week to learn more about CAS, the EE and more of the components that make up IB. But most importantly, BSJ hosted the 2nd annual ATL conference in which Year 12 students had to teach the younger years about ATLs or Approaches To Learning. And for good reason. In order to succeed with jobs and beyond university, we have to learn to adapt and learn different things in different ways. Ivy and I were assigned with the task of teaching the Year 7s how to research effectively and the Year 12s how to think effectively (Even though there were only 2 people who attended that workshop).

Ivy and I prepared for the conference by doing the most stereotypical way to present a topic: a PowerPoint presentation. Now no doubt some would see this as boring so we decided to get creative and add a few jokes here and there to liven the atmosphere. We also gave candy anytime someone got a question right. At the beginning though, we gave them cards and tasked them to arrange them into good sources and bad sources. They got most of them right and it was understandable for them to think Wikipedia is a reliable source, which it’s not. Our main focus of teaching the Year 7s research was so that it would be easier for them to find reliable sources when they move through the years. We wanted to teach them that in a fun and interactive way, which proved challenging as it’s quite hard to make research a fun thing to do. Nevertheless, most of them thought that our workshop was fun and will use the information they learned later in their lives. We taught them a variety of topics on research such as always citing your sources and how to tell whether a source is bias or not. I can happily say that most of the people in our workshop had an incentive to learn and were paying attention to us. However, looking at some photos of other people doing there workshops, I can potentially see multiple improvements if I were to do this again. I would definitely try to incorporate more team games and cooperation as I could see competition among the students as they wanted to get the candy. Although we did ask our students lots of questions, there were some that were unwilling to join probably due to boredom, so I would definitely try to make sure everyone is involved next time. Possibly, I could’ve tried to incorporate personal stories into my teaching as well as I find teachers who share their personal stories with their students, easy to get along with. Maybe that might work with the year 7s? And in hindsight, giving candy to already hyper kids might not have seemed like the best idea…

The 2nd workshop Ivy and I commanded was Thinking for Y12s and we named it “The Sound of Silence” which tasked the Y12s to share their opinions on a topic without speaking. They were only allowed to draw or write. Even though only 2 people joined this workshop, Ivy and I found it much easier to handle than 11 people. Our objective for this workshop was to encourage different ways of thinking other than talking with the person next to you to share ideas. In the end of the activity, the 2 people made a mind-map of their own opinions and facts on the topic. I am happy to say that the 2 people wrote 5 star reviews on our workshop. If possible, if I were to do this again, I would definitely come up with more interesting questions for the people to answer and brainstorm.

I think my experiences in this workshop followed LOs 3 and 2. I plan and initiate, and I undertake challenges and develop new skills.

Overall, I think that the conference was a huge success. Not only because we shared our knowledge with the younger students, but it allowed us to know what it felt like to teach other students for the first time. I ultimately have a new found respect for teachers as I did not realise how much work they do behind the scenes. The ultimate gripe that I have with this ATL conference was that we, as Year 12s, also have to teach other Y12s, who already know how these ATLs function, meanwhile, the Year 7s don’t. If possible, I would like to see the Y12s teach more of the younger years rather than themselves, because we already know about this. All in all, this ATL conference felt great and I wonder how the Year 7s will use this new found knowledge to aid them in their course.