Lens on LEADership: youthLEADarts at Britannia

“Just one, small, positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” Dalai Lama

As we gathered in our morning community circle at Britannia Elementary, we placed intentions on the day. For many, intention was a new word. Elder Amanda’s intention was that everyone realize how truly unique and gifted they are, that each and every person acknowledge that they are born with a gift She hoped that we could share them. She gently explained that where she comes from everyone has a role, everyone has a purpose and must make a contribution, no matter how small or impossible it may seem. There is no word for “I” in her language, only a word for “we”. Brunella then opened with a mindful meditation that focused these intentions and encouraged us to hold positive thoughts for ourselves and for others as we explored the creative process. 

We used this mindful lens, literally and figuratively as youth completed their individual and group poems and then explored how to capture their thoughts and images using the video feature on the ipads. Shooting from different angles such as a worm’s or bird’s eye view, close ups and long shots, students collected images to help tell their stories. The classroom was transformed into a studio with green screens and lit sets and with quiet spaces to record voice-overs. One of the favourite tools was the wheelchair used to shoot moving dolly shots. Youth took turns in different roles, directing, filming and acting. 

At the end of the day, here’s what the youth had to say about their time on set:

“There were always more places where I could help.”

“You are not always going to get along with everyone on your team, but you have to work it out with them to get the job done.”

“We worked through the stress of having a deadline.”

“I like to take charge of things. I learned balance, that sometimes, I have to let others take the lead and give them the chance to be in charge.”

“I learned how to make friends.”

“I learned to listen more and that art takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” 

“We all make mistakes. I’ll do better tomorrow. Things don’t have to be perfect on the first try.” 

“I liked taking videos and photos!”

“I learned not to be so self-conscious and that I shouldn’t be embarrassed on film.” 

Listen, empathize, act and drive. These LEADers are on a wonderful journey!