A great and amazing colleague that I have the pleasure of working with Melissa Everitt, recently wrote a great and inspiring post, which resulted in a great idea that I am going to be using on Monday within my classroom. Melissa choose to ask her students to think about what they thought they needed to work on and improve over the school year. Although Melissa choose to use this as an exercise in Critical Thinking, I believe that it also is a form of Leadership.
Why, well every year a teaching team goes over the previous years accomplishments of a student as well as the areas of need and develop a plan to transition a student from one point to another, both behaviorally and academically. The staff develop and create goals, rationals and strategies that are going to be used for every student, which are different from one student to the next and therefore carries the title Individual Program Plan. The plan is often discussed with parents and students, but generally when working with the group of students I do, that is all that is done.
So I have decided that for the Plan to be something that the student is invested in, something that the student can reflect and assess and something that the students can believe in, that the student should have some responsibility in the development and creation of that Plan. I believe that for a student to recognize and be able to verbalize what their weaknesses and areas for growth are snot only show a students understanding of self but also reveals a great element of what is leadership.
All leaders, professionals, people of influence and students must be able to self reflect, to look back at their their accomplishments and faults and to determine how they are going to improve. I have come to realize that although I place a significant amount of importance in relationships and getting to know my students. My students know themselves best and they are often able to state what they need help in and what they need to grow.
Wish Me Luck