November 8, 2015

Leader in Me Part 1

     Last school year, my school started the Leader in Me program by Franklin Covey.  At first, I have to admit, I was a little annoyed to give up 4 days of my summer to sit at a training.   I usually don't learn something at a training that I can apply towards school and my personal life.  The Leader in Me program is designed for students, but adults can benefit as well.  If you haven't heard of the Leader in Me program, it is a program that teaches leadership skills to students with the idea that every student can become a leader. The program focuses on what are called the 7 habits.  The program uses the 7 habits to make you into a better person.

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4:  Think Win-Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

     As of right now, there are over 2300 schools participating in the Leader in Me program from all over the world.  The program consists of staff members implementing the 7 habits into the students' daily lives with the hope of achieving Lighthouse Status.  So far only 159 schools have achieved this status.  The goal is to achieve Lighthouse status within three years, but I have heard from others that some schools have taken five to fifteen years to reach Lighthouse status.  My school is on year two, and we are far from achieving Lighthouse Status.

     As a school staff member you receive the 7 habits training, during which you learn all about each habit and how you can implement it in your life and your classroom.  After the training was over I was so inspired to be a better person!  To this day I continue to incorporate the 7 habits into my personal life.  At the training you receive materials and books to help you with incorporating the 7 habits into your classroom.  The great thing about the Leader in Me program is that it has multiple recurring trainings which serve as a review and dig deeper.  This means that once you finish the 7 habits training, it doesn't end there.  You get continued support through further training opportunites.

     As a librarian, I was picked to be part of the Lighthouse committee.  It's by far the most work I've ever done for a committee, and the one I like the most.  It's up to your principal on which staff members get to be on the committee.  My principal picked one person from each grade level and a few other staff members.  As a member of the committee you receive additional training on how to be a Lighthouse member.  The team works together to make a three to four year plan to achieve Lighthouse status.  Once the committee creates a timeline the team works together to implement the program .  Last year we met once a month.  This year we meet twice a month because once a month is not often enough.  Already this year, I went to one Leader in Me training for the entire staff and two for the Lighthouse team with one more training to go. 

     Each Leader in Me school is assigned a mentor.  The mentor comes to the school once a year and meets with the lighthouse team and each grade level to discuss how everything is coming along.  The mentor walks around the school to see how each teacher is implementing the 7 habits.  He or she often gives suggestions on how to improve.  The mentor is a local person that is familiar with the state and local needs.  Most trainings are done by either your mentor or a trainer from another part of the country. 

     The program has a great website where teachers can go to find videos, lesson plans, and other resources to help them.  They even have a binder which is very similar to Pinterest, where teachers can post pictures or files on Leader in Me resources they are currently using the in the classroom.  Also, there is a Lighthouse Evidence section, where lighthouse members can post items that their school has done.  Each time something gets added the percentage goes up getting closer to making lighthouse status.

     The first year went okay.  This year I've seen a change in some of the students.  They care about the school and use the language around school.  Even as an educator I've changed how I speak to the students.  For example, the first grade students always play around in line waiting for their lunch.  Instead of telling them to stop, I ask them if they are following Habit 1 and being a good leader.  Does a good leader push others in line and set bad examples for the kindergarten students that are eating lunch right next to them? I have a better success rate with the students behaving when I use the 7 Habits language. 

     I love the Leader in Me program.  If you have a question about the program, comment below, or click on the Leader in Me Website to find out more information about  adding the program to your school.

     Please stay tuned, for my part 2 of the Leader in Me Program.  Part two will be how our lighthouse team incorporates the Leader in Me program into our school.  I will post pictures of the different activities that we have done over the last two years.

     Please note that this is my view on the Leader in Me Program.  All Leader in Me Information and Pictures, in this blog, are from the Leader in Me website.  Again, please check out their awesome program at this link.

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