Archie Stouffer Elementary School is gearing up for its first ever Leadership Day on May 11 and is inviting the public to share in the celebration of their students.
The student-run event is the culmination of a two-year process for the Leader in Me program at the Minden school which saw students adopt the “seven habits of highly effective people” based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey written in 1989.
The seven habits are be proactive (you’re in charge); begin with the end in mind (have a plan); put first things first (work first then play); think win/win (everyone can win); seek first to understand then to be understood (listen before you talk); synergize (together is better); and sharpen the saw (balance feels best).
Teacher Michele Coneybeare described the event as an opportunity to build the students’ self-esteem and encourage leadership qualities in all students particularly those unaware of their leadership potential.
“It’s to celebrate the progress that we’ve made and it’s not a program in the sense we’re going to stop at a certain point. We’re always growing and I’m hoping it will impact the next group of kids and the older kids become stronger leaders and it’s not that we’re after the kids that are already leaders it’s pulling those kids who are maybe a little quieter or don’t know their strengths and help them build on those strengths” she said.
The one-day event is an opportunity for guests to visit the school’s classrooms to see the benefits and hear from the students about what the power of the seven habits has meant for them in setting goals and achieving them.
On May 11 the day begins with an assembly (with decorations and setup by students in the Shine Team) that will include a performance by the skipping club a presentation of the 7 Habits by PowerPoint from the Lighthouse Team; a thank you to recognize volunteers; music; and a review of the day to come.
Lunch will be served by the students in the Catering Crew in the gym followed by guests organized into groups to visit classes led by student guides. Each class will showcase one or more of the seven habits with activities posters skits multimedia displays or how the steps are integrated into life at school.
The day ends with a closing assembly which includes a thanking of the guests and bidding them farewell. It officially ends with a clap out.
Coneybeare remembers how one student took initiative this past year to address the problem of students walking through a school garden. The student requested it be roped off and a group assembled to take care of the garden.
“I’m not sure without some of this being introduced kids would take the time to slow down as much with that. It was a student that was very kind so the kindness has come obviously from home but it’s just ‘we need to deal with this. Can I be the leader of that?’ The way she took it on. … That’s a Grade 3 student. That’s pretty impressive. So I think just feeling confident enough to jump in and say ‘Can I be the leader with this?’”
Jacob Mantle and his Grade 3 class is busy working on a skit The Doorbell Rang.
This skit will be performed multiple times for community guests and provide a lesson about the seven habits and being a leader.
Mantle proudly showed off his “goal medal” with the words “Get calm.”
He said he was too hyper and credits the seven habits for how it has been the foundation for his new focus.
Grade 3 student Elyse Boisvert said this approach to life has helped her break out of her shell.
“I was very shy from kindergarten to Grade 2. Now I’m in Grade 3 I’m not as shy” she said.
Her teacher Coneybeare said with a smile “Now I can’t get her to stop.”
Elyse a member of the Lighthouse Team is looking forward to presenting a PowerPoint presentation of the seven habits at the upcoming Leadership Day.
She said breaking free from her shyness has allowed her to spread kindness and help people.
Two years ago Coneybeare and four other faculty members went to Toronto and received two days of instruction about how to implement the seven habits at the school for the Leader in Me training. The following September Jane Austin began as principal. Austin happens to be certified to teach Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The school sent the small group to Toronto to help with community building.
The first year of implementation rested mainly with the teachers learning to apply it to the school and this past year there has been greater participation from the students.
With this being only the second year it’s still early for ASES. Coneybeare said there are some schools that have been doing this for close to 15 years.
“We have a long way to go but we are seeing change in a lot of our students” she said.
Staff would appreciate pre-registration with the school for those guests wishing to participate in the day’s activities. Contact Jessica Foulds by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school and speak with Michelle at the main reception.