On January 23rd, Haywood County Schools celebrated Leadership Day. This Leadership Event was part of the Leader In Me program and was a day of schools opening their doors to guests and celebrating the great things that are happening with the Leader in Me. It put the spotlight on students, and offered staff members the opportunity to showcase their creative ideas.
Leader in Me works toward a new way to define leadership. “ Many people equate leadership with a formal position of authority. But we believe anyone can be a leader by intentionally leading one’s own life (leading self) and working well with and encouraging the greatness in others—whether family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues (leading others).”
Anderson Early Childhood Center stationed students at the front door of the school. They not only opened the doors for guests and welcomed them to the school but those tiny students took guests on tours. With leadership skills in place, they acted as tour guides as they showed the different areas of the school, told of the happenings in each area and even took guest right into classrooms with lessons in progress. Guests were then shown the many different ‘centers’ in each room and how the students use them, were allowed to ask questions and even participate!
Haywood Elementary took Leadership day to an amazing level with a Lights, Camera, Lead! theme. Guests were welcomed by students at the door where they were also given the opportunity of a photo booth style photo op. In the entryway students were posted at various points of interest where they could tell the story of the board of teacher photos and of the mural that hosts a student level mirror reminding them of how special they are. Each Leadership student throughout the school wore name tags and took their role very seriously. Guests were given a schedule of the day’s events and were then assigned to a group. Each group was lead by three students with one holding a sign with their group number and movie theatre theme. (ie. popcorn & candies)
Groups moved throughout the school from station to station where leaders were waiting to tell about their area. The students were so knowledgable and so eager to share. The tour ended with a visit to the library for popcorn, snacks and drinks as everyone gathered for a question and answer session.
Haywood High School held a luncheon in the library where Leader in Me students hosted. The Leaders each spoke on various aspects of the program and how they see its effect on the school as a whole. Although it’s a new program at the school, leaders were already able to notice changes as peers expected there to be a new level of respect and accountability.
Leader in Me feels that, High school offers student the opportunity to cultivate their personal independence, ambitions, opinions, beliefs, and how they see the world around them. However, some students struggle to feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and direction in their life. Leader in Me Schools create an inclusive culture created and led by students who are encouraged to find their voice and develop critical skills through a series of leadership courses that will help them successfully navigate college, career, and life.
High School students also go through a rigorous application process that requires a one page paper on why the student would like to be part of the Student Lead Team, what skills they have that would help them in that role, and what skills they would like to improve on in themselves in being part of that team. They also have to provide two teacher recommendation letters and complete an interview.
Visit leaderinme.org for more details on this amazing addition to our schools!