Switching it up – Little Leaders Experiment

http://www.memeticians.com/2008/01/nature-vs-nurture-what-makes-a.phpThe following generally happens, not intentionally but it does happen. When there are non-educational tasks that require the assistance of students we most often request the assistance of students that are well, “the reliable kids”, “the dependable kids” and essentially the “good kids”.

As I stated this happens, it is not intentional or a preferred practice, however as time progresses in a classroom, the students who have difficulty following directions and difficulty completing tasks are not given tasks. Although, we often say that with every new year there are new possibilities and the slate is clean, due to repeated years of giving tasks to what other students may see as the favourites, our other students get left out.

Now, I am new to my position and to my school, but I have been becoming familiar with many of the students, those that are quiet, those that love to read, those that are masters at avoiding work and those that simply want to be left alone. I have also been provided with a great deal of information from other colleagues in the school, whom have worked with the students before.

 As my previous posts will attest, I am a strong believer in relationships. In building relationships, maintaining relationships and ensuring that we are trying to understand our students through our relationships. At my previous teaching assignment, I attempted to create a group of little leaders with my little grade 1-4 students, and although we had some trials and tribulations overall the idea, which arose from Stephen Covey’s, The Leader in ME, worked famously.

So, today I hopefully checked off at least two boxes with one activity (relationships and leadership). I needed to change our outdoor sign, but to do this I needed someone to help me with the letters, so I did not have to continually climb and descend the ladder. Instead of asking a staff member, or asking one of the usually asked kids, I chose two students that are not often chosen.

The pleasant surprise was that the students were surprised. They seemed genuinely excited about doing something as simple as putting the letters in the proper order so that they could hand them to me while I was on the ladder. This could have been that they were picked to do something outside of the normal relm of class or they were just happy to be out of the classroom, either way it was a great experience in respect to building relationships with students I am just getting to know.

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3 thoughts on “Switching it up – Little Leaders Experiment

  1. Appreciate the thoughtful reflection. Choosing a child who is so seldom chosen for a special task can ultimately change the way that child looks at and thinks about himself. And what a huge impact that can have on a child’s growth and self image.

    One thing that is not often thought about is the child who always gets chosen. While many may think it is a positive and encouraging experience, it is not always so. There are negative consequences to the continual “certificating”, awarding, and being the special “chosen” student. That child can ultimately suffer the same fate, as their self image can hinge on praise and reward.

  2. Those out-of-the-ordinary tasks create the best memories because they are unique and special. I’m going to try to do that more often.

    • I am really excited that you are going to try this as you journey through the school year and look forward to hearing your stories. It is a great task and adventure hat has some of the most amazing benefits.
      Thanks again James.

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