Two updates to this post: Leadership revisited and It's truly time to think differently.
After a brief discussion of what it takes to be a leader, how we define the word, leader and a few tidbits of inspiration, I had students fill out a simple GoogleForm. They were asked 3 times to write one word that describes "a good leader". I made sure to explain that I wanted words that described someone they would be willing to follow.
I had two goals in mind. First, I want my students to see, visually look at and soak up, what them and their peers think are good qualities in a person, a leader. Second, I wanted to see what they expected of me, without them knowing it. In actuality, this was an exercise in creating a blind taste-test. I can look at this Wordle and know that students want these qualities in their teachers.
The best part of this lesson was this: Every student raised their hands when I asked if they possessed at least one of these qualities, at least one time in their lives. I was a bit fearful that peer pressure would force people to raise their hands, so I also did a brief in-class writing assignment as a follow up. I asked students to tell me one time they were a leader in their life and how they think they can be a leader this year in the 7th grade. The answers are great. The majority of students wrote something about wanting to give some of their time to help others. I was afraid that this years students would be a bit slow to grab onto my energy and go sprinting towards reinventing themselves learners; We have only had five days of school, but body language says a lot in the 7th grade. Over the last two days students have really grabbed onto the concept of Garth and my class. The idea that thinking, creating, collaborating and wondering is emphasized over grades. I finished the week (no school tomorrow) with a clip from the movie "Pay it Forward". Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone.
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