May 9, 2014
By Beckie Carlson
Today was my first 'professional day' away from school. My director asked me to go watch two other campuses do their "Leadership day" and observe their Lighthouse teams. "Lighthouse" is what we call our student council here at ALA. I was flattered to be asked and excited to see what other campuses were doing.
One of the things I love about ALA is how we strive to empower our students. The 7 Habit method, The Leader In Me, by Stephen Covey is awesome. As educators, we add a leadership twist to every lesson we teach. I think all schools should be this way. One of the things that I heard announced at one school was that the Arizona Department of Education has approved the "Leader in Me" program statewide. This means, you can apply to be a part of it and your school can get a grant for it! I really don't know what all that means, but it's good!
At the leadership days, the students are in charge. The community is invited to come to the campus and look around. The students do skits, sing songs, give amazing talks, and basically show off their school. The 'grown-ups' are just in the background for support. Have you ever seen a kindergarten student lead their class through morning routines of counting, spelling, phonograms, etc. while an audience is watching? It is impressive.
At one school, a student gave a speech on what it meant to be a patriot. The school mascot is a Patriot and she used her grandfather as a great example of a patriot. She did an amazing job. I almost cried! One of the things she said that stuck with me was this:
"We don't touch a thistle and pull back because we got poked, we grab the entire thistle in out hand and crush in." VERY loose translation, but still a really great image of taking life by the horns and getting the job done.
I was duly impressed by all the kids I saw today, working, synergizing, laughing, teaching, and growing. I am so glad I am a part of such a wonderful organization!
I'm also glad I'm at my campus....another campus had portable classrooms.....not sure I could survive in there. I need my windows!! Cause I said so!