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Posts Tagged ‘Leaders’

Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

February 24, 2014

 

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Not everyone can be a leader.

In every community there are natural leaders and people more comfortable with following. That doesn’t mean that the followers are blind. Their mission is to find the right person or persons to follow.

And even within the system of leaders and followers, it is vital for all concerned to realise that they all have unique gifts and characteristics which they need to harness, even at the cost of seeming different.

But people don’t like being different. They feel it makes them stand out in a negative way and it reduces their opportunities for gaining respect and acceptance from their peers.

In the classroom this is depicted by the academically gifted student who tones down their effort levels so as not to stand out. Commonly classified as a form of peer pressure, it makes children feel like they need to be seen to have the same tastes in movies, clothes, songs and interests as the pack, just to fit in.

I look at the picture above and I feel sad that doing something different looks odd or uncomfortable. Surely, as teachers, we should be working towards creating a classroom environment where each child is made aware of their unique skills and qualities and is able to express themselves without risk of excommunication.

 

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

Click on the link to read Kids Can Operate an iPad but Can’t Tie their Shoelaces

Click on the link to read What is the Difference Between Over-Praising Children and Lying to Them?

Click on the link to read The Skills Kids Can Learn from Traditional Board Games

Click on the link to read Our Impressionable Children are Desperately Looking for Positive Rolemodels

 

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A Class Full of Class Captains

July 27, 2012

There is a new philosophy which has surfaced in many schools. It is driven by good intentions but is unlikely to reap any rewards.

This philosophy maintains that every child is a born leader. Just like every child has the potential to contribute to society, so too, every child has an innate, yet untouched, ability to lead.

This line of thinking has inspired schools to appoint many different leadership positions such as class captain, house captain, prefects etc and rotate these positions, thereby giving every member of the class a chance to assume a leadership role.

What could be wrong with that?

Two things.

Firstly, what is the point of offering leadership positions if they are going to be devalued by being handed out to every member of the class, regardless of their abilities? Isn’t the whole point of these positions to honour children that have a long and distinguished record of setting a good example and working hard? What is the point of having a class captain if the person taking on the role has a record of misbehaviour, truancy and possesses a poor work ethic?

Secondly, who says every child can be a leader? This is simply untrue. Most people are not leaders – they are followers. True leaders are very rare – just look at some of our lackluster politicians! Appointing certain children in leadership roles will not only not work but will most likely put an unfair set of expectations on children that neither asked for, nor earned such responsibility.

The notion that we should aspire to be leaders is something I find very troubling. I believe we should all aspire to be caring, considerate, respectful and hard working. If we are not a leader, that is fine. We can’t all be leaders, just like we can’t all be good at drawing or playing sport.

Schools that are trying to turn all their students into leaders would be better served trying to turn their students into good citizens.

Click on the link to read Kids Don’t Need Gold Stars

Click on the link to read Experts Push for Kids to Start Driving at 12

Click on the link to read Kids as Young as 3 are Getting Tutors

 


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