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Indian Trail implements a new leadership focus

Julie Horne, a third-grade teacher at Indian Trail Elementary, posts a note about Habit #7 - "Sharpening the Saw" during a recent workshop at the school.

Indian Trail Elementary School plans to make leaders out of its students.

The school's staff had three days of training on Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People during the workdays at the beginning of the school year 2013-2014.

This helpful, meaningful training was in advance of the adoption by ITES of the leadership focus for students called The Leader in Me.

“The process of using leadership as a way to help our students become effective leaders started more than a year ago when staff members visited schools such as A.B. Combs Elementary School in Wake County,” said Indian Trail Elementary School Media Coordinator Mary Robinson.

“There our staff observed the leadership exhibited by students who had been taught practical, principle-based leadership skills,” Robinson said. "The students were confident, spoke with adults easily, and enjoyed sharing their skills.”

When A.B Combs first started teaching leadership skills to their students, they stated they were not prepared for all the “positive results that manifested themselves” as a result of the emphasis on leadership.

In a short time, the number of students passing the end-of-grade tests rose from 84 to 97 percent. The school began reporting significant increases in their students’ confidence, dramatic drops in discipline problems, and increases in school staff job satisfaction. Additionally, parents reported improvements in students’ attitudes and behavior at home.

“The Indian Trail Elementary staff, site-based team, and other leaders felt that this program was a useful way to help our students prepare for a life, both now and throughout their lives, help them become responsible citizens, be creative, think for themselves, take initiative, get along with others and solve problems,” Robinson said.

Robinson said that the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me are based on developing the following seven habits: 1. Be Proactive – You’re in Charge; 2. Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan; 3. Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play; 4. Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win; 5; Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood; 6. Synergize – Together is Better; 7. Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best.

She added the three days of intense training helped the Indian Trail Elementary staff understand themselves and learn about being a member of a leadership community.

“ITES staff members have begun to implement the habits in their classrooms, staff meetings, and PLCs on the grade levels,” she said. “This will be a great year to observe leadership at ITES.”

 

Written by: Mary Robinson, Indian Trail Elementary media coordinator
Posted: Sep 19, 2013 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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