The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Building Tomorrow's Leaders

A little confession to make...  my Honors class this year is totally my favorite class. A good teacher would say she doesn't have favorites, I suppose, but I can't help it. This is a great class. I freaking love these kids. These kids are totally the leaders of tomorrow. Something I have learned about myself over the past couple of years is that I truly have a passion for training and equipping leaders. I love to see students grow to be true leaders.

This is the second year that I have taught a unit on leadership using John C. Maxwell's "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership." Last year, I tried to do this book with the entire sophomore class. This year, I decided to just do it with the students who already desire to be leaders- my honors class. I gave them the book to read, journal on, and discuss online over the 6 weeks of winter break. Their online discussions have been amazing! The true leaders, out of the class full of leaders, are coming to the surface, just through the online discussions. Let me share with you some quotes.

"If relationships are never built, a leader will never be able to ask for a helping hand and deserve it, because they never did anything for anyone or made the effort to show others that he/she cared."   -J.V.

"I agree with Marco when he says that sometimes people are put in charge because of their popularity. Sometimes we don't notice it, but the people that do notice are the people with real leadership potential."  -C.P

"The way that I determine the strongest learder in a group is by the way that they add value to others- if he/she is loyal to others, if the leader cares for his/her followers, if he/she is successful in their work, if the/she has the courage to say something when somethimg is wrong, and if they have respect for others, then that person is probably one of the strongest leaders."  -K.G.

"A quick way a person can lose someones trust is by lying to them. Many people lie because they are afraid to say the truth. I personally hate when someone lies to you to make you happy. Its going to hurt even more on the long run."  -S.L.

"Not many leaders strive for their best in creating a legacy. I think its because they are so preocupied with staying on top that they make hasty decisions."  -D.C.

     This is just a little sampling of some of the great insights they have had on leadership. (I wish I could share more, but a lot of their examples are personal and I wouldn't betray their privacy like that).

Doesn't reading stuff like this give you hope for the future of our country?   :-)

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