Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Developing Student Leaders

“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves” (The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (2008), Stephen R. Covey, p. 41).

Hello everyone! I'm Loriana and I blog at Teaching Rocks with my two friends and colleagues, Elita and Lisa.  We teach in Toronto, Canada and we're so glad that we could be a part of this global collaborative blog!

I thought that my first post for Global Teacher Connect would be on the topic of student leadership, as I recently finished reading Stephen R. Covey's book The Leader in Me (2008).  I am interested in developing leadership skills in my students, as I would like them to use these skills to make a positive impact on our school climate.  Now, Stephen R. Covey is famous for “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” so when I saw that he wrote this particular book on student leadership, I was interested in reading about the approach he took. The Leader in Me tells the story of several schools that have incorporated student leadership into their daily curriculum and attempted to make every student a leader by using the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," with some schools achieving tremendous and inspiring results.

Why are schools looking to develop leadership skills in their students?  According to Covey (2008, p. 4), he explains that student leadership:
  • improved student achievement
  • significantly enhanced self-confidence and esteem in students
  • dramatic decreases in discipline problems
  • impressive increases in teachers’ and administrators’ job satisfaction and commitment
  • greatly improved school cultures
  • parents who are delighted and engaged in the process
  • business and community leaders who want to lend support
Right now, we have five committees for our grade 7 and 8 students, in order to help them develop leadership skills while assisting the school community, but I would like to work on our strategies and evolve our model, so I will be further researching this topic and its application.  Check out http://www.theleaderinme.org/ for more ideas on how to get started.

How do you develop the leadership skills of your students?  What opportunities are they given to showcase their skills and use them for the betterment of the school community?

~Loriana

Teaching Rocks!
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3 comments:

  1. I am so excited that I just got hired with a "Leader in Me" school for the coming school year. I have never heard of this concept until I applied for the position, but I feel like I am finally going to be in a place that falls in line with my philosophy. I can't wait to learn more about the concept and to start teaching at the end of next month! I'm reading "The Leader in Me" right now, and it is so inspiring!

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  2. Congratulations, Karen! Good luck at your new school and I hope that you'll share your thoughts about the program with us!

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  3. I will definitely share as I learn more about the program and start living and teaching it.

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