February Updates

ECSD begins Leader in Me implentation
Posted on 02/01/2024

In an effort to help students of all ages develop leadership skills, Earlham District Leadership Team began looking at options to provide resources to our teachers to help our students become the strongest leaders possible. The goal is to empower students with the tools they need to become confident and effective leaders while building on their unique skills they already possess. Leader in Me provides support to both teachers and students that goes beyond traditional academic curriculum to foster leadership development from an early age.

What is The Leader in Me?

The Leader in Me is not just a program; it's a philosophy that transforms school cultures by teaching students timeless principles of leadership, responsibility, and effective communication. Based on Stephen R. Covey's renowned book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," the program integrates these habits into the daily lives of students, encouraging them to adopt positive behaviors and mindsets.

Seven Habits, One Mission: Student Leadership

At the heart of The Leader in Me are the seven habits, each designed to instill key leadership qualities in students. These habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand, then to be understood, synergizing, and sharpening the saw. Together, these habits provide a holistic approach to leadership development, preparing students not only for academic success but also for success in life.

Creating a Culture of Empowerment

One of the core strengths of The Leader in Me program is its focus on creating a culture of empowerment within schools. Students are not just passive recipients of knowledge; they actively engage in their own learning and development. Through various activities, projects, and leadership roles within the school community, students learn to take initiative, collaborate with their peers, and assume responsibility for their actions.

Teacher and Parent Involvement

The success of The Leader in Me program is not solely attributed to the students. Teachers play a pivotal role in implementing the overall structure and guiding students through their leadership journey. Additionally, parents are encouraged to reinforce these principles at home, creating a unified approach to leadership development that spans both the school and home environments.

Real-World Applications

What sets The Leader in Me apart is its emphasis on real-world applications. Students don't just learn about leadership in theory; they actively practice and apply these principles in their daily lives. Whether it's resolving conflicts, setting personal and academic goals, or collaborating on projects, students gain practical experience that will serve them well beyond the classroom.

Impact on Academic Achievement

Research has shown that schools implementing The Leader in Me program experience positive impacts on academic achievement, student behavior, and overall school culture. By instilling leadership skills early on, students are better equipped to face challenges, set and achieve goals, and contribute positively to their communities.

Next Steps

Over the next few months, I will continue sharing how we intend to implement the work of Leader in Me throughout the district, community and how this work can be supported at home. The district started diving into this work by holding an informational session for all district staff this fall. They were guided through the overall structure of the Leader in Me program. The next step is to allow them access to the resources available to support the development of the leadership skills listed above, with the goal of beginning work with students at the beginning of the 2024 school year.

In an ever-changing world, preparing students to be leaders is a responsibility that goes beyond traditional education. The Leader in Me program will help the Earlham take a proactive step to nurture the leaders of tomorrow, fostering a generation of individuals who are not only academically proficient but also possess the character and skills to make a meaningful impact on the world.