Annual Leadership Summit for Kindergarten and Grade 3, 6 and 8 Students
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.
The mix of students is a critical piece of the Summit’s success. Younger students not only get the chance to spend time with older counterparts, but they gain confidence from being in a peer group together. Older students have a chance to flex their leadership muscles and mentor the younger ones. This type of multi-age learning is a foundation of the Montessori philosophy and an important aspect of Inly’s community.
At the start of this year’s Summit, held on September 4th, Head of School Donna Milani Luther explained the responsibilities that go along with being the “senior” students at each level. “What does it mean to be the ‘top dog’ class in your level? It means extra responsibility. We are expecting you to be leaders and to help the other children in your classroom in a respectful way.” The three-year cycles in Montessori schools allow older children to take on the role of mentor and role model to younger children.
What are Leadership Qualities?
And which are the most important ones in school community? Here are some of the qualities that our older students discussed:
- Being a good role model
- Enabling and encouraging those around you
- Working hard
- Strong public speaking skills
- Situational awareness
- Working for the greater good
- Taking risks