How do we get leaders in our world? Are they born that way? Are they zapped by a bolt of leadership at some point in their lives? Is leadership contagious? According to Theresa Allen, guidance counselor at Middlesboro Elementary School, leaders can be made through training, modeling, and experiential learning.
The Leader in Me program is based on a best-selling book by Dr. John Covey, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” These concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum in each class at MES. The program provides the school with the vision and language to address all areas of a child’s development. As children develop their talents, they are given opportunities to lead.
For example, at MES, children are encouraged to serve as door greeters for public events or groups of visitors, as morning announcers, breakfast and lunch leaders, and the flag crew handling the raising and lowering of the American flag each day.
Allen commented, “The children quickly understand the benefits of different gifts and talents, they learn to listen to new ideas, they work together to achieve results, and motivate one another to be their best.”
How do kids get involved? There is an application process, says Allen. Children fill out an application, and then they are interviewed by a committee of faculty members. If they are chosen for the program, they have a duty assigned to them based on their individual skills and interests. Duties are rotated periodically throughout the school year.
For more information, interested students or parents can speak with Allen and are encouraged to visit theleaderinmeonline.org.