Thoughts, conversation, and questions about 'The Leader in Me' by Stephen Covey


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I'm anxious to read how A.B.Combs School got their attitude growing, and why they are successful.
Obviously I hit the wrong button, because I'm never that brief.
I'll try again:
I don't think banners and sayings impact students as much as teachers and administrators who practice what they preach. How many of us truly try to Understand before we are Understood? How many of us live the 7 Habits? As in all we do at school, we must lead by example.
At first I thought Covey was an opportunist who was promoting his previous books. The further I read though, I thought how important the 7 Habits are in school, business, and life so what are we waiting for? I'm not saying go gangbusters, but if we start slowly, making the habits our own, then finding ways to infuse our lessons and interactions with the Habits I hope we find the results encourage us to use them "ubiquitously."
The business world, the parents, and the educators seem to agree that as a community the students need to feel respected, unique, and proud. It's what we want for our own children, isn't it? How hard can it be? And, once we start sharing our methods, successes, and failures we'll be able to Keep the end in Mind.
My closing paragraph is what you already read. Let's see the template.
I agree Kathy that we as a district will have to practice what we preach. We need to be the role models that our students look up to. They need to see us following the seven habits if they are going to take them seriously. I am not sure if this is something we can just jump into. I think if we decide to implement this program then it needs to be done in steps. As you read further along into the book they will talk about how a few different schools implemented the leadership theme into their schools. I think it will have to be something we plan out carefully and make sure it is done right. If we rush it we may just get another program that falls by the wayside a year from now. I am thrilled to hear your excitment about this book:)
I really like the idea of having students create slogans (just like the recent one 7/8 grade did) and posting them around all three schools.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is more a mindset than another thing to do. I went to a training on this about 8 -9 years ago and still have some great materials on it if anyone want to view them.
I think one of the most important Habits is to Sharpen the Saw - this comes down to taking care of yourself so you have the energy and motivation to be your best everyday. Doreen Lee
Not just student created slogans, but also inspirational quotes posted around the schools could change the whole feeling of our hallways to a positive, welcoming environment.
I love the quote ' Leadership is doing what's right even when no one is watching.'
I think that all of comments so far really say how I am feeling about this. I would like us to start out small, with the leadership part. Our children need to become leaders with all they have against them these days. Having inspriational words painted around the schools seems very fitting. Banners sometimes get looked over. But if we have the students do the painting or at least some of it, won't that make a better impact? I see that we have students with alot of potential and we need to direct it toward positive attitudes about themselves and life. The sharpen your saw one that Doreen is talking about seems to be something we need to really work on. We all put so much into our work and students that we do forget about ourselves and then where do we end up, tired, fustrated, and unmotivated too!
I just read everyone's comments and agree that our students deserve an environment that fosters empowerment and free thinking individuals that truly care about each other. This program sounds like it could make a big difference for everyone, not just the kids. It's like waiting for Christmas,,,I want it to arrive.
I am looking forward to reading the implentation steps.
Just a thought, how willing are we to let go of control to create real business, parent or outsider other words are we flexible to work through differences? (Yeah, playing devil's advocate!)
I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I really like the idea of empowering our students but I think that it is important that teachers and administrators have the expectation that students can handle the empowerment. I agree that as models for our students we need to practice the habits. But more than just practice, we need to talk about how we practice them with students. We need to make our thinking around the habits transparent for students. For example, we can talk about how we begin with the end in mind by talking to our students about how we set personal goals and work toward them. Like, I set a goal to learn more techniques to teach guided reading and this is what I came up with.....
Great conversation - :)
I think the ideas presented can really work for Somers Point. This week we are doing Red Ribbon Week, which is very important. We also have Rock Solid days too. Somehow if we could tie these all together it could be incorporated easier without having all these separate but important themes through the district. We should also make sure to include New York ave. Another suggestion is to get some feedback from our parents & local businesses as we look to possibly applying some of these ideas.
I also wanted to add we have a Character Education Committee who develop monthly character traits, we have many wonderful programs but they are not connected!
As I read the 7 habits, I thought about school and the classroom and how we as a district are already implementing these habits and probably not even realizing we're doing them. Imagine if we were all on the same page and then took it to 212, what a difference we could make. It was interesting to read about the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Again, Somers Point is already addressing much of the criteria for the education field award (pg.49). We have a leadership program, data-driven decision making, citizenship, learning-centered education, and alignment to local, state and national standards and I'm sure we probably meet the other criteria in some way. I'm very interested to find out how AB Combs and other schools implemented the program so successfully.
I also believe that primary greatness is open to everyone."...primary greatness has to do with a person's integrity, work ethic, treatment of others, motives, and level of initiative. It also has to do with a person's character, contributions, talents, creativity and discipline. It represents who people are-everyday as opposed to what they own or temporary achievements. Primary greatness is measured not by comparisons to other people, but by adherence to timeless, universal principles. It is humble."(p.9) We should attempt to implement this with a single focal point or focus to get this beyond the etherial, to implement this into daily practice. A good place to start might be to have students focus on "doing the right thing at the right time." (Are you doing the right thing when nobody is watching?) I'm extremely interested to participate in a plan to implement these ideas in our schools.



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