PDWs: Do They Really Matter?

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This past week, Grade 10 and 11 students have had to start thinking and choosing which PDW they would like to go on. This is usually quite a hard choice for many and makes us ask ourselves many questions. The question that most of us ask ourselves is mainly, does this really matter? After all, PDW only represents one week of our lives and the trips all seem quite good no matter where you go.

There are many contradicting opinions about PDWs. Some do not care at all and choose not to apply while others value PDWs a lot and often apply for student leaders. The trips that are imposed since primary school and apparently help our personal development, but do they really?ctcl5xyweaaiagi

Many (I included) would definitely argue that MYP PDWs are quite pointless and repetitive. However, if you asked any 11th or 12th graders, they would all tell you about their amazing experiences on their PDWs. The biggest thing most would tell you as well is that they’ve learned something and would probably go back. To most MYP students this may be confusing as the most exciting on most of their PDWs is getting to see some teachers run around in wet suits.

But then what is it that makes 11th and 12th grade PDWs so special? Is it just because you get to choose? My theory is that it is because you travel further. I know, you wouldn’t think that distance has to do with it, but the further you are from home the more uncomfortable you are. Why would you being uncomfortable lead to you having a better time? Because you are living raw experiences. Because you are uncomfortable and don’t know how to act therefore your brain is confused and what drives you is intuition and gut feelings. It’s how going to Nepal allows you to connect with the children. It’s how going to Iceland allows you to work hard all day. It’s how going to Ghana allows you to innovate and teach.screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-14-19-475x325

That’s how we always have great memories because it’s things we wouldn’t usually do but are driven to do. So think about your PDWs and do more things that leave you out of your comfort zone because it’s memories you’ll cherish forever.

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