where things go wrong: building a student body in your school

Back in 2013 I first heard about the Student Council (SC) in my school. Ten years in the school and I had no clue we had a student body. I don’t know if it was me who hadn’t heard about them as I rarely left my class or it was them who couldn’t make their presence felt among the students.

That year a lot of my classmates’ elder siblings were inducted into the SC. And that’s how I got to know that the SC exists! As far as discipline related issues were concerned they took good care of them all. I guess all of them didn’t work as required by the school and didn’t get inducted the following year.

Ever since 2013, I have known a good number of SC members. I have seen them work and I have seen them not work. I had always thought that they were an organised piece of shit, working without a pay to bring a change in the school. At least that’s what I thought. Bringing up projects they thought would help students to gain new skills, improve their skills and showcase their skills. We rarely got to know about these projects. These projects rarely took place.

It was in the 2016-2017 session, that I became eligible to apply for the SC. I never expected myself to get any post other than that of the Secretary I.T. I applied, gave an interview to the Headmaster and the Headmistress, and a last interview to the Principal. A couple of days later the results were out! And I got the post I was looking for. I actually expected us to be briefed about how the SC works, dos and don’ts of being a member, what are and what are not our duties, what are our limits, etc. But we didn’t get that. We got nothing. Except for a pretty terrifying welcome speech, followed by a 30 minutes speech during our Investiture Ceremony during which a lot of members started making jokes to pass time.

We were told to submit a “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS YEAR”, which interestingly I later found out that I was the only one who actually did submit. It kind of sucked! Because I spent a good amount of time in planning what I was going to do. Later in the year, I realised that I have checked off nearly all the things I planned to do, where some hadn’t even started anything.

I did a week-long “I.T. Week” for classes 2 to 10. No one had before included classes as young as 2 in their events. I did! By the end of the year, I had already applied for a TEDx license. Gave the best technical support I could during the Teachers’ Day and the Farewell we gave to our seniors, and kept my subject scores high too!

The following session (the ongoing one, but about to end in a couple of months), I got the post of the Head Boy. The joint highest in the SC (with the Head Girl of course). And where a lot of people describe my 6 months as Head Boy a failure, others describe me as the “coolest Head Boy ever”. Personally, I describe this tenure as the biggest learning step in my life.

I am starting this series called “where things go wrong: building a student body in your school“. I don’t know how many posts would I be able to write in this series, but I won’t stop till I am able to tell you everything that I learned and everything I think is needed to build a good student body in your school. I would also write about things in this series that happened (though in my perspective because I never got to know other people’s perspective about it) but haven’t been told or heard by people closest to me. I will also take time in this series to thank all the people who have helped me and taught me things while being part of the SC.

I have been reading The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, and this book is my inspiration to start writing this series. Throughout this series, I will also share with you what I learned from Ben’s book.

In this series:

1. introduction
2.
3.
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n.

I am completely open to criticism about this series, your perspective about the events I would write about in the following posts, and things you would like to add to this series. Feel free to comment below or use the contact form on this blog.
I will try to keep each post under 1000 words and 5 minutes.

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