This time of the year is the best time to consider the activities that will best develop the leadership capacities of your students.
If your leadership activities are in need of a boost these 10 leadership activities provide opportunities for student to develop their leadership capacities..
1. Create a mentor program
Move over peer mediation programs. Make way for a new buddy – mentorship – which accelerates student leadership development and helps build a strong leadership culture.
There are four parts to an effective mentoring program.
A student leader is first mentored, then they become a mentor, consider their legacy, and pass on their learnings to the next generation of leaders. Mentorship is included in part 3 of the Young Leaders Program.
2. Focus on ambassadorship
Ambassadorship may sound a little daunting but it’s easy to in practice.
It’s a new take on the notion of student leaders representing the school at local events, or welcoming newcomers to their school.
School ambassador roles can be long term or for specific events, giving much needed flexibility to your program.
3. Start a club program
Encourage student leaders to tap into the broad interests of your students by creating a clubs program. Chess, robotics, drama, savers…. the list is endless.
They can start small with a four-week club program and build from there if there’s sufficient interest.
Starting a club is one of the most successful leadership activities for students.
4. Survey other students
Effective leaders always tap into the thoughts and ideas of their communities.
One way students can do this is by conducting a survey of fellow students.
Surveys take some figuring out, but they can be a great source of ideas, provide terrific learning and can be great fun as well.
5. Establish a media crew
Help leaders get their important messages out to the school and wider communities through the media.
Yes, there are so many ways kids can get an audience from creating a student newsletter, setting up blogpost, making a podcast or setting up a TV channel on Vimeo or a school-based video source.
6. Start a speaker program
Everyone loves a story.
There’s no better way to hear a story but fresh from the teller’s mouth.
Encourage students to begin a monthly speakers program and invite people to share their stories with them.
Sports people, local artists, musicians, storytellers – there are so many people who would love to visit a school and share their experiences with kids. The key is to start and let the idea grow.
7. Organise a school Hall of Fame
Every school should look back on its history with pride and acknowledge the deeds of past students.
A Hall of Fame is a perfect way to honor the past in a meaningful, relevant way.
While getting a Hall of Fame off the ground requires significant adult resources the input from student leaders is invaluable whether it’s researching alumni, working out selection criteria or discussing how Hall of Famers will be recognised.
8. Conduct a weekly clever kids quiz
If you’ve ever attended a Trivial Pursuit evening, you’ll know how much fun they can be. They can also be fun to organise.
There will be a group of students who’ll jump at the chance of organising a quiz for other students.
There’s lots to consider – who will attend; who’ll write the questions; who’s the quizmasters; will there be prizes. And yes, lots to do but that’s the point if you are to develop leadership potential in students.
Organising a quiz is one of the more popular leadership activities for students.
9. Create an educational program
Does your student leadership program include a teaching component?
Many senior students love teaching younger students the skills that they know.
Whether it’s teaching a younger age group a dance, a craft or how to sing a song students should first consider what they’ll teach (curriculum), how they will teach (method) and how they will measure their success (evaluation).
Teaching adds depth to your leadership program.
10. Organise a pet show
Everyone loves a pet show. It’s noisy, potentially messy but a so much fun.
Putting on a pet show offers huge learning potential for any group of student leaders that need extending. It brings together the skills outlined in the Young Leaders Program framework – organisation and planning, teamwork, clear communication, and presentation skills, taking initiative and taking responsibility and self-regulation skills.
Leadership doesn’t develop in a vacuum
Student leaders need teacher guidance and support when embarking on projects and activities such as those mentioned above.
These activities take effort but anything worthwhile takes energy. There are no short cuts to success.
Putting the time and energy into learning activities such as those mentioned above will pay off in the long run as they are guaranteed to promote agency, initiative, teamwork, persistence, problem-solving and a host of other leadership qualities.
The Young Leaders Program lays the framework for students to embark on activities and projects such as those outlined above that are engaging, that extend their capabilities and provide a significant benefits to their school communities.
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