Every year at parent teacher conferences or at our 3-way conferences, I talk to many of my students and parents about Leadership. I have taken this topic in hand as I applied and then accepted the job of HoD of PE and think a lot about the type of Leader I hope I can be and those around me who inspire me to be a leader. Leadership comes up in our Invasion Games units as we inquire into the concept of ‘Community’ looking firstly at ourselves; team; organisation; leadership and what makes an effective community from Grade 6-10.
As I talk to my students, there are some reoccurring questions and concepts that we come back to and I wanted to share them here. I try and ask my students questions about the type of leader they are/ want to be and about what inspires them so that they can grow in their own understanding of being a leader in their classes and in their lives. Here are some of the questions I have asked students in the classroom and also in Parent conferences, it is great to hear what their parents offer and ask too.
- What is Leadership to you?
- What does an effective Leader look like?
- Do great leaders have to be outgoing?
- Which leaders inspire you? What is it about them that makes you inspired?
- How do you help others in their learning?
- What is your role in this class/team?
- What talents might you have as a leader in this class/team?
- When have you been a leader in your life? What did it feel like? What did you achieve?
- Which leader would you invite to come to our school and talk to the students in your grade?
The conversation comes up that the leader isn’t always the one with the knowledge about a game or activity – often it is the second person who supports an idea or strategy or organises the kids into action and asks questions to engage the others that is the leader. It is important that we look at different leadership models and find traits in all of our learners so that they see leadership as attainable and have an opportunity to lead their peers in an environment that allows them to take safe risks and see success (especially if they are tentative to the task).
At a recent staff meeting, we were asked about who inspires us as Leaders. I have a handful of people who I have had the luck to work with over the last 12 years who sit firm in my mind when I am working and need to do different tasks (one HoD was always available and came with a smile and open door for any colleague or student but was firm and fear; one leader has mentored me through a series of changes in my life – fundarising for community service, working as a PE teacher, as a new mum, and always was supportive and uplifting; one other leader always had kind advice, was super organised but kept our Grade level team on the straight and narrow and was amazing in dealing with MS kids). All of these people (and more) keep me thinking my journey as a leader and as a teacher who is assisting and offering spaces for this new generation to lead – after all, they will be the ones making important decisions for themselves, their families and communities (including me!) as we get older, and we have to help them to get it right most of the time!
I would be interested to see how others support Leadership at their schools and in their #physed units.