I will be spending my summer finalizing an experiential leadership model for secondary school students. Several districts expressed their commitment to an intentional culture of safety, civility, and service where everybody matters. I am ecstatic to begin the process of “fishing upstream” and place the skills of leadership into the hearts of students.
Over the last seven months, I have experienced students who’ve willingly stepped up to lead their campuses, families, and communities once trained. Had I not witnessed this with my own eyes, I might not have believed it and I am a “kid champion”! The inspiring key difference in students versus adults…nothing holds them back from using what they learn if the system is trustworthy. Nothing impedes their implementation. When they realize they are seriously being addressed as young adult leaders, they lean in, tune in, listen, learn, and then they LEAD.
Students will participate in the same training many Fortune 500 companies seek for their leaders and employees. Equipping our emerging leaders with effective communication skills to build and heal relationships, confront a problem, get a job, or persuade another to be open-minded, is the greatest thrill this educator has or ever will experience. The goal is to impact relationships, improve academic performance, and reduce isolation. Win-win!
I applaud the districts who believe in their students as leaders. We’ve attempted every possible model in existence to improve and grow our schools with better, deeper, and sustainable skills to cultivate the desired outcomes. It’s time to flip the equation and let the students step up and be part of the solution.
The BEST is yet to come!