Darwin is “A Leader in Me School”!! The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness. Distinct in several ways, The Leader in Me starts from a powerful premise—every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader—which shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child. The process integrates leadership development into existing programs, curricula and traditions and serves as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and highly motivating staff and students.
The Leader in Me helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life. In short, The Leader in Me helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond.
All stakeholders are impacted by The Leader in Me, starting with the school principal, the staff, then expanding to students, their families, and the community at large. This Inside-Out Approach is a key ingredient to successfully creating positive change in a school. The Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process, and comprises approximately one- third of the content. The 7 Habits is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.
“We only get one chance to prepare children for a world none of us can possibly predict, what are we going to do with that one chance?” -Principal Muriel Summers, A.B. Combs Elementary
The Leader in Me provides a logical, sequential, and balanced process to help schools proactively design a culture that reflects their vision of their ideal school. This shared leadership increases engagement and enables students, staff, and families to be self-confident and self-reliant, work effectively with others, and make meaningful contributions. The Leader in Me differs from other whole-school transformation processes in that it offers a holistic, school-wide experience for staff, students, and parents, and creates a common language and culture within the school. The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as a curriculum, but instead are incorporated into coursework, traditions, systems, and culture.