Developing leaders in high school…
A true leader makes other leaders. It is what I try to do inside of my education practice. I believe leadership is the key determinant in how high an individual will rise in life. If a person with leadership level 5 skills, is being led by someone at level 2, it never works. A level 2 leader cannot lead level 5s. Thus, to get the most interesting work, be in demand, and have more freedom, it is critical to develop one’s leadership ability as much as possible.
At the moment, I am in charge of the physical activity at the school. I work in an environment where the kids organize their own day. Many decide to organize exercise right out of their day. I have spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to motivate learners to get in gear.
I know that some can be intimidated by going to the gym. All these big guys, lifting big weights. I can see it. Fine. Don’t go the gym. Run around the park instead. Play racket ball. Hit the climbing gym. But do it. I believe that learning how to move one’s body and develop strength is equally as important as learning how to defend a thesis or a hypothesis.
I have literally tried everything within the means that we have at our small school.
The main conclusion that I have come to is that it is absolutely imperative that I develop leaders. Peer to peer collaboration. I have been doing my best to match highly motivated, physically experienced individuals with their friends who are not there yet. They need practice — both the kids who are not working on their physicality and the leaders I am trying to develop. It has been kind of working. The problem is, is that it is so hard to develop a leader. I am still learning myself.
Isn’t that an interesting position to be in for a teacher? I have to figure out how I am going to get everyone to develop their physicality through advancing their fellow students to lead them through the program. To be honest, at the moment, I am having mixed results. But to me, it circles back to the fact that the greatest thing I can do for both the individual student and society as a whole is try to make leaders who will in turn make more leaders, and so on and so on.
With the rare exception, almost all teenagers need guidance in learning how to lead others. Some have more natural charisma, but leadership is a skill that can be learned and more importantly, needs to be practiced. Sports and fitness provide a natural place to practice these skills. I am working on it.