Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Student Leadership

There's no point to student leadership if they're not actually leading. Over the past week I've been talking to key students about how they lead at school. Some do it without a badge and some do it with one too. Most students don't see themselves as leaders without a badge and this is sad because they are all amazing.

At the start of each year there is a rush to preen in order to be chosen for student leadership and when the names come out there are always disappointed students. I love that we have our new house groups at school and that they give the opportunity for those amazing leaders who missed out on a Prefects badge to lead the house, culturally, academically, sporting, and through sheer will.

I would love our leaders to be doing more inspirational speeches at assemblies and working with the juniors. They have great advice and seeing them support each other is awesome. Because these are life skills. We have taught them the expectations and values we have at Heights and we need to allow them to do something with them.

I have loved being a part of the different groups this year because I see the leadership, mentoring, teaching and learning that goes on collaboratively. I take pictures and have evidence of their teaching in case they ever need references and I can attest to their brilliancs with pure evidence. It can also be used to gain credits in assessments too.

The student council can make huge changes when the student voice is listened to. When I was at school the student council was imperative. No change would have happened without it. We had student led assemblies and big prize draws at the end of each term and the end of year assembly was awesome. As part of SADD, Yellow Ribbon and the 40Hr Famine team, we were able to have a captive audience and could inspire and advise our teina about the inportance of keeping safe and being aware of others and what they go through.

Seeing S yesterday with a new Y9 is exactly what a leader is meant to do. She awhi'd her and told the girls in my class to look after her and when I left S to it outside I knew I could rely on her to make a positive impact on this girl's life and also on the girls from my class.

I was gutted that I never got any leadership roles when I was at school, but it was very much a popularity contest then - not to say that those who got in weren't good leaders when it came to it, because they were - and the voting was always conducted in form class where you could all pick the same. Voting should be done with speeches, campaigns and proper voting booths. So that students are informed. They're not just picking off a massive list - most of them not knowing who they all are. If you are passionate about being a leader you should be expected to stand up and lead from the get go.

It's what I did with the Interact club this year at Changeover and it quickly stopped those who just wanted the position for the sake of having it. Now we have true leaders who lead from the front.

At prizegiving at the end of the year - I was so angry at the school for not awarding me any prizes - or so I thought. Mrs Thomas asked me if I was going to prizegiving and I asked why. She said I needed to be there. I was angry because I had done so much for the school and hadn't gotten any acknowledgement of the work I had done for my school. And then.. lo and behold. They called my name out just before they awarded Dux. I was awarded the Community Service award for commitment to the school and supporting others.

And it's the same with our students now - they don't lead because no one has told them they're capable - though we have they just don't have a badge to prove it. Am pretty sure S doesn't have a prefects badge. Yet she is still a leader.

Every student is. They just need the opportunity.

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