The Motivation Project officially launched in Dame Allan’s Girls School, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 21st May.
Some people might assume that a room full of 33 Year 8 girls (aged 12-13) would be a horribly intimidating experience. That was not the case. The girls were articulate, intelligent, funny, vibrant and honest (very honest!). I couldn’t have asked for a better group.
I understood before I arrived that the girls would all be vastly different with unique personality traits and their favourable aptitudes for learning lying in different areas. The hope for the workshop was that I would spark interest in every type of learner; kinaesthetic, aural, visual and read/write.
Their teachers selected ‘body image’ from our list of topics for the workshop theme. I coached them through a series of tasks, some dance based and others more conversational/written. I asked them about their thoughts and feelings on each of the tasks and the topic of body image itself and I was so glad that they really opened up to me.
What did I learn during the session? I learned that teenagers are much more creative than adults. I learned that they are thoughtful, intuitive and embrace anything you throw at them. One of their favourite words is sassy (or sass). None of them have Facebook but almost all of them have Instagram.
They understand more about the repercussions of photoshopping in advertising than perhaps some adults do. Sadly, this knowledge doesn’t protect them from feelings of negativity spurred by the wrong types of advertising.
I truly believe that this project can help to build resilience in teenage girls. A BIG thank you to all of the girls and teachers who were involved with the launch. Their feedback has influenced the future of the project, and I have to say the future looks bright!
The session finished with plenty of giggling, smiling and a sense of happiness unifying the group.
As I was leaving I was stopped by a small group of the girls and asked whether I was going to come back for another workshop. I promised them that I would try my absolute best. I really meant it.
“I’m perfect in my own ways”- Tasfia, 13
“Everybody feels self conscious. I am not the only one”- Lois, 13
“I enjoyed the dancing because it was really fun and built up my confidence”- Elisabeth, 12
“It totally changed my thoughts about myself and made me realise the good things about me!”- Amarah, 12
“It just made me feel really happy and not at all self conscious”- Gabriella, 13