Can You “Teach” A Student To Be A Leader?

Leadership is difficult because you can’t necessarily teach someone to be a leader but I believe, through a comprehensive, seven-year program, we can provide all the tools necessary to teach our students about leadership. We can also teach them what goes into the skillset for leadership and these tools can lead to a self -knowledge on their part of what it means to be a leader. It is important that every child be exposed to what leadership means and that every child be given opportunities to lead throughout their time at school. These experiences will give them confidence to step up and lead when an opportunity presents itself, which is an incredibly empowering experience for a student, especially at the middle and high school levels. This proposed leadership program would need to be an intentional curriculum with experiential components over a 7-year period, starting in the sixth grade. Students in the middle school should begin by learning about leadership and experiencing and practicing leadership through activities like an Ambassador Leadership position, athletic team captains (JV), community service leaders, and the middle school play – cast & crew. As the student enters the upper school, the Leadership program should take on a more focused approach through a series of colloquium classes in leadership, wellness, college counseling, economic literacy, entrepreneurship, and college/academic preparation. Examples of leadership classes at the Upper School level could be: what makes a great leader, communication, ethics, personal leadership, goal setting, conflict management, ethical decision making within a group, planning organizing and executing a meeting, writing a personal leadership plan, and leading from within. The summation of this program should end with Senior Capstone projects that could be tied into an existing Senior Seminar and Senior Project philosophies.

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