If you managed to brave the mess in my garage – climbing over empty boxes and stacks of curriculum, dodging toys and Christmas decorations – you might stumble (literally, sorry) on my high school yearbook. To say that I was an extra-curricular activity junkie is painfully accurate – president of the French Club, secretary of National Honor Society, involved in Students Against Drunk Driving and the anti-smoking drama club, editor on the literary magazine, student government rep, blah, blah, blah. Looking back, it’s a wonder I did any actual school work.
So, I guess it’s not totally surprising that life would circle back to throw me into a Student Government class. This time it’s with our homeschool co-op, and I get to teach, guide and encourage the next generation of leaders. It is an honor and a privilege. We study, brainstorm, learn, and do a LOT of laughing. I should pretty much pay them for letting me teach.
The culmination of our government class is rapidly approaching. Very exciting! The elections are next week. We’ve got 8 students running for the different positions. The campaign process has been so interesting to watch. Oftentimes I feel we have a very precise, orderly, well laid out plan we’re following, and at other times I feel like we are just making it up as we go. Which might just be the story of my life!
I thought it would be helpful (ie, this blog serves as my memory and journal) to highlight the steps we’ve followed thus far (feel free to steal or share any of our ideas):
1) Nomination Forms – the first step was completing the necessary paperwork
Instructions, Student Support & Teacher Recommendation
2) Posters – each candidate was required to do 1 poster the first week and up to 2 additional posters as the campaign progressed.
David used Publisher, changed the custom paper size to fit a poster, and printed the pages in a tiled manner. So this poster printed on eight pages, which we trimmed and taped together.
Other students hand painted/drew their posters. Some printed out their slogans and glued them onto poster board in block form. The creativity, design, and format of the posters was left up to the candidates. And I can’t lie, they turned out great!
3) Campaign Videos – each nominee had to make a 30 to 45 second long video.
I was most concerned about this aspect of our campaign, but today’s teens are tech-savvy and the kids were undaunted by the assignment. In class we watched a sample I found online, discussed what they needed to include in their video, and set the rest of the parameters.
Here’s a look at David’s video on YouTube
We showed the 8 campaign videos at the beginning of lunch today at co-op. Creative, unique, some funny, others serious, all of them utilized music in their production. Basically the videos were fantastic! The other students cheered, laughed and applauded for the candidates. It was a great display of student spirit!
4) Meet the Candidates – a lunch time Meet & Greet time with all the nominees.
We hung all of the campaign posters on the wall directly behind some tables, swathed in patriotic bunting. Most of the kids had a giveaway, treat or sticker of some kind. There were individually wrapped Smarties, golden chocolate coins, and even homemade baklava. Several of the candidates used printable labels to make campaign sticker “buttons.” And one girl designed a small “dollar bill” with her face and name on it. Love the creativity!! “Just mint to be the Treasurer!” it said, and she stapled on a green candy mint to give away.
The students were required to meet at least 5 people they didn’t know (shaking hands and introducing themselves). All of the candidates took it seriously and spent most of the lunch period talking to people.
5) Speeches – next week we will do short, live speeches during the opening of co-op.
The candidates are required to share three things:
a. Why they want to run
b. Why we should vote for them
c. What they are going to do for the co-op
6) Election – we will run our elections next week over the lunch period (more on that to follow)
It’s been a growing experience for the class, the candidates, and the rest of co-op. I can’t wait to see how the elections turn out. Stay tuned!
Project 365 – Day 100 (Wow – the 100th Blog Post of 2015!!!!)