Seven members of our school staff and one parent are attending a two day Leader in Me Symposium at the University of Alberta today and tomorrow. I am looking forward to hearing lots about what they learned and excited about the energy they are sure to bring back. We are on our second year of being a Leader in Me School.
Since starting the program we have really been working on empowering our students with opportunities for finding their own leadership abilities and providing opportunities for them to continue to develop those skills. Depending on the classroom and the teacher, students are provided with varying amounts of time to express their abilities in areas of strength and areas in which they need growth. One of the Principal Quality Standards in Alberta is, “Developing and Facilitating Leadership“. For me, it did not initially occur to me that that could also apply to our students.
Throughout the process we have learned a number of things. Even if a school isn’t a Leader in Me school, the following would apply.
- Everyone is a leader – and basically in every situation. How we behave and react to others should be an example to follow. With this mindset we need to be on our best behavior!
- Everyone needs a push once in a while. Staff, students and parents are all capable of stepping up when the need is there. Some need a bit of a nudge, but many just need opportunity. Schools need to be set up so people have opportunity to proved leadership. That might look like students clubs, student greeters, students doing announcements, parent opportunity to volunteer, student volunteers, etc. The list could go on and on and on!
- Everyone responds better to a common goal. If a Mission or Vision or motto or whatever you use to guide your organization is only a plaque on the wall, it is useless. We have made our motto into something that EVERYONE in the school knows. (Everyone a Learner; Everyone a Leader). Our Vision, (Lifelong Leaders, Lifelong Learners, Strengthening our Community) is also known by almost everyone. Make the goal of the organization known and then use it to guide you along.
- Everyone is important!! The word “community” in our Vision is very important to us. We work to make our community a better place. That can’t happen without the community involved in the school, and the school involved in the community. As a K-4 school, there’s not opportunity for work experience, but we can do our part to help clean the community, visit and learn about the community and host community events. Our school has really been working on living up to it’s name (Bon Accord Community School)
We are on a journey and we are fortunate the the middle school in our small town is also a Leader in Me School. Students are encouraged all along the way to be Leaders and develop their skills. Staff are working on developing their own leadership skills and growing with the students.
EVERYONE A LEARNER; EVERYONE A LEADER