By Tamara Santoyo, 5H
The Exhibition is a huge project which is meant to reflect on the PYP skills we’ve learned during our time together in the PYP section, which begins once we enter the ECC until our final days in grade 5. The Exhibition is six months long and therefore the largest project in the Lower School, that also means that you spend a large amount of time of school with your group. So cooperation is a huge part of the process and plays the biggest role in creating the Exhibition. For example, sometimes you do run into problems with your group when someone is being bossy or won’t give your idea a chance. What has really helped me and my group has been to always communicate your feelings about those situations. I have learned that sharing your perspective with your group members is very important to the success of the Exhibition process. Cooperation is an important thing, even more than your research skills. If you cannot work together with others in a group, it doesn’t really matter how much research you get done, it will be all for nothing. Half of your grade for the Exhibition really relies on your research. So I honestly recommend choosing a subject that you really like because you don’t want to spend six months studying something that you don’t like. So cooperation and research skills have been very important during my Exhibition experience.
Another thing to take into consideration is your communication skills, since working in a group heavily depends on them. For instance, my group and I struggled to communicate our feelings about each other’s work and what helped us was to, once a week show our work to each other and see if there were things we could change and improve upon. A second yet very important skill is self management - which sounds easy but is the hardest thing to cope with. For example, sometimes you’ll be working extremely hard, and the next thing you know you will be extremely bored so you want to play game or do something that you’re not supposed to be doing, but the best thing to do in those situations is to remind yourself that the Exhibition is the most important thing in the entire grade and it’s very important for you to stay on task. It has also been a struggle for us to manage our time. We now get right to work and focus on what we need to get done. That has really helped us getting everything done that we have wanted to do. In the end the Exhibition is extremely important, but it’s also fun - so work hard!
You also have your social skills that you are constantly working on as a member of a group. Resolving conflict has been likely the most difficult skill for all of us to work on. I am reflecting all the time on my interactions with my group members and thinking of better ways to handle conflict. I believe that this experience has made me better at handling conflict with others and I believe that I am a better person for it. I would also like to say that I have really learned how to accept responsibility for what I need to do individually, but I am also learning how to be a more responsible group member.
The last thing that has helped me to grow is being able to see other student’s perspectives. Having empathy for my group members and understanding who they are and where they come from has made me better prepared to handle disagreements that we have had and their suggestions that I have sometimes thought are not that good. Knowing that my group members’ opinions could also be right has made me more open-minded and a better listener. I am doing my best to listen to my group members so that I really understand them. I think it is very important that every student in every group feels like they are understood.