Teach Middle East Magazine Jan-Feb 2018 Issue 3 Volume 5 - Page 40

Inside the Staffroom HOW TO DEVELOP STUDENT LEADERSHIP IN YOUR SCHOOL. BY CHASSIE SELOUANE be given the opportunity to resolve them on their own without adult interference. Adults should only get involved if students fail to resolve the conflict on their own. H ow can schools develop student leadership? First of all, it is imperative to determine what leadership is and why is it important to foster it in children. Dr. Stephen Covey stated that “Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential, so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” The concept of leadership is something that isn’t normally associated with children, however, if we often underestimate the capabilities of children and their leadership abilities and potential to use them in their own lives, then we miss a great opportunity to benefit from the gifts and talents of our young people. It is important to encourage in children, an awareness of an ability to develop their own strengths. Covey’s The 7 Habits of the Highly Effective People, can be a natural fit to use with students to help them in leading their own lives and influencing those around them. Here are a few ways that Teachers and Administrators can merge the 7 Habits into their activities and develop a partnership between all stakeholders, that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. for success in the future. Encouraging Students to create goals both personally and academically is great to do. Habits 1-3 also teaches them responsibility and accountability. It is important that students understand that they are the ones who are responsible for these goals and are expected to do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking. Habits 4-6: Think Win Win, seek first to understand, then to be understood. These habits teach and encourage students to practice listening skills, conflict resolution, teamwork skills and creativity. Teachers and Administrators should take a look at the leadership opportunities in the school and focus on creating opportunities for students to be able to balance courage in going after their goals while showing consideration for what others want. Should conflicts arise, students should Habits 1-3: Be Proactive, begin with The End in Mind, and Put First Things First. Foster planning, goal setting and time-management skills in your students. These skills are crucial 38 | Jan - Feb 2018 | | Class Time Students should be given the opportunity to lead throughout the school on multiple levels both inside and outside of the classroom. When given a chance to truly make an impact in their learning community, students are capable of producing amazing results. Teachers often have class jobs and administrators often have Student Councils, but what do these roles really mean in your school. Opportunities should be more than just a line leader, or board eraser. Opportunities should be created to empower students to serve in roles such as; classroom greeters, school tour guides, Student Council/ Judicial Council members, Charity Council members and Light house committee members, to name just a few. Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. This helps students to understand the importance of taking care of themselves, socially, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Learning to find balance or harmony in life, is an important life skill. Teachers and Administrators can work to implement activities that allow students to explore new adventures on a regular basis. These activities could be implemented weekly, monthly or by term. Mindfulness week, where students are taught the importance of meditation and relaxation through Yoga, is a great example. Teachers and administrators could also create opportunities to explore different fun activities (sports, games, arts, group discussions) during lunch and recess breaks on a regular basis to promote the importance of Sharpening the Saw. Chassie Selouane has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Education, a Master’s of Education Degree- Curriculum Instruction with a Specialization in ESL Education, a PMC in ESL Education, a PMC in Instructional Leadership & is a dual candidate for a PHD in ESL and PHD in Instructional Leadership. Chassie is an Edmodo Ambassador & Certified Edmodo Trainer. She serves as the GCC ASCD UAE Ambassador. Chassie is the founding Director of Learning at Rising School Dubai.