What does it mean to put first things first? What about beginning with the end in mind? These ideas are just two of the seven habits being implemented as part of the Leader in Me process at the Bucyrus Elementary School.
Teachers, staff members and administrators spent three days during their summer break learning how they can not only implement the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People in their classrooms as part of the Leader in Me process, but also how they can implement the 7 Habits in their personal lives.
“I think understanding that working on our own personal victory via being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first will magnify our effectiveness as inspirers of children is important,” third grade teacher Kim Haldeman said. “I think knowing that any one of us can be a transition person, and that students can also be transition people, resonates with me.”
The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness. Distinct in several ways, The Leader in Me:
* Starts from a powerful premise—that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. This premise shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child.
* Integrates leadership development into existing school programs, curricula, and traditions in a way that does not feel like “one more thing.” More than a program, The Leader in Me serves as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and highly motivating staff members and students.
* Helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life. In short, The Leader in Me helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond.
* Impacts all stakeholders starting first with the staff of a school, then moving out to students, their families, and the community at large. This inside-out approach is a key ingredient to successfully creating positive change in a school.
“I’ve had a lot of ideas running through my head since our training seminar and have already implemented the 7 Habits into my personal life as well adjusting plans for the start of the school year with my students,” kindergarten teacher Nancy Lipscomb said. “I’ve replayed many of the comments and ideas discussed during the training and in conversations I’ve had the pleasure of having with coworkers since, and they make me smile-both personally and professionally- giving me new enthusiasm for the year.”
The Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.