John F Kennedy said, “Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other.” At Inly, we take this sentiment seriously. For the past 10 years, we have run a Leadership Summit on the day before school opens, with the young leaders in our community: members of Kindergarten, Grade 3, Grade 6, and Grade 8 classes. These are the students at the top of their three-year multi-age classrooms.
Through initial conversation and activities, students discussed the names of leaders they know or have read about and explored the qualities of those leaders. Then, we talked about leadership opportunities in our school and our classrooms. We thought about personal qualities that we contribute to the school and our classrooms as young leaders. In small groups, students identified qualities that come naturally to them and those that they would like to work on.
Here are some of the qualities that our older students discussed:
- Being a good role model
- Enabling and encouraging those around you
- Strong public speaking skills
- Situational awareness
- Working for the greater good
- Taking risks
After creating pictures and/or emojis to remind them of the attributes they will bring to their leadership work, teachers designed activities for each age group. Our students then practiced their leadership skills in a variety of team situations and role-plays that underscored their leadership abilities and goals.
What a great way to start the year. We are so impressed with our young leaders and know that our Summit will lead the way to some extraordinary work through the 2018-2019 school year, and beyond!