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The Leader in Me
Smith School embarked on a journey with The Leader in Me based on Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People beginning in the 12/13 school year. We started with a pilot program in a few classes, then obtained funding support (grant and PFO) in order to train the entire staff and we are continuing to grow and evolve as we learn and practice using the 7 Habits.
In September, we work on explicitly teaching students about routines and expectations. Classes also develop their own personalized mission statements that are then posted in and out of their classrooms. It is exciting to see these mission statements come to life in each classroom!
In October, we focus on Habit 1 - Be Proactive. Students learn that they are in charge of themselves, that they choose their actions, attitudes and moods.
- 16/17 - This year we had a school-wide WIG (Wildly Important Goal) of managing items students bring from home safely, appropriately and at the proper times of the day. Our student data team helped us collect and analyze data to determine if more parameters were needed to help students be successful.
In November, our focus is on Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind. Students learn the importance of having a plan and goal-setting.
- 16/17 - Our Student Lighthouse Team led a school-wide goal to collect 575 lbs of Halloween candy for Operation Gratitude, supporting our troops overseas. Our students met and exceeded this goal by collecting 941 lbs of candy. Students also sent letters and pictures of gratitude along with the candy.
For December, our habit is Habit 3 - Put First Things First. Students practice the concept of work first, then play.
In January, we focus on Habit 4 - Think Win-Win. We spend time looking at how situations perceived to be two-sided can often have other options if we stop, talk and think outside of the box.
In February, our focus is on Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. This is such an important life lesson! Children (and adults!) can have a tendency to be so focused on their point of view and what they want to communicate that they don't stop to truly listen to each other. This is what we try to foster with Habit 5.
For March, we look at Habit 6 - Synergize. Collaboration is the norm now in classrooms from elementary through college and into most workplaces. Together is better, but not easy so we spend lots of time on this!
In April, our focus habit is Habit 7 - Sharpen the Saw. This habit reminds us to take care of ourselves, to seek balance and to look for ways to help others. Throughout the year we look for child-appropriate ways to help our students understand the world around them, to develop empathy and to seek out ways that they can make a difference in their world.
In May and June, we continue to integrate the 7 Habits into our daily routines and we also take time to celebrate our progress and each other.
Some of the ways observers may see our students interacting with or benefitting from these concepts include:
- Leadership roles in their classroom or in the school
- Opportunities to present information or speak in front of an audience
- Classroom Lead Time
- TLiM Fridays including Comet Clusters (K-5 cluster groups) and Galaxy Gatherings (school-wide assemblies)
- School-wide goals or WIGS (Wildly Important Goals)
- Student Leadership Notebooks including their academic and personal WIGS
- Student-led donation drives and outreach opportunities
- Participation on our Student Lighthouse Team, including presentation, school community/giving, and data teams