Prospective parents frequently have asked, “ How do we at Breck foster leadership in the Lower School?” They ask about our Student Council and how children get elected to serve. I share about how the students deliver written speeches to their teacher(s) who in turn share the ideas to their classes anonymously. The hope is that students vote on the best ideas, without simply picking a friend. Along with answering these questions, I always like to add that leadership is so much more than serving as an elected council official. In thinking carefully about this question, I realize that our young student council representatives, work hard to be the voice of their classmates and model leadership. I also emphasize that leadership comes in many forms at Breck. It is fostered each day within the classroom, at chapel, at lunch, on field trips etc. It is practiced and demonstrated often and in ways you’d never expect.
|Student Council Representatives (Grades 1-4)|
We at Breck want to think deeper about leadership: What is a leader? What do leaders look like and sound like? Is a leader always in front of the group? Are the leaders always the voice of the group? Through these questions, we have found there is much more to leadership than first thought of: leaders inspire, leaders like to organize, leaders share ideas openly, and leaders listen to other’s ideas. Along with all of these thoughts, we’ve added that leaders are collaborators. Leaders serve the community. Positive leaders are seen as role models to others.
|Reading With Senior Citizens|
|Sharing Math Strategies|
|Sharing A Favorite Book/Reading To Others|
Young children can lead! Even in preschool and kindergarten you can see leaders in the community. The teachers foster leadership by giving their students classroom jobs. They may lead the line or have a special job as the caboose, also known as line ender. They help a friend at recess learn how to climb the monkey bars, or organize a group to rake leaves, or …One student led a whole construction group in the sandbox on a weekly basis. They sifted sand and moved it across the playground in toy trucks. The other children liked the way this friend came up with the idea, created new jobs, and included anyone who wanted to join. First and second graders learn to form teams at recess. They take turns choosing the team, delegating positions, and bringing their friends to victory or humble defeat, ready to take on new positions the next day. These students also have a job as table captains at lunch. They watch for when it is time for seconds, encourage eating a more colorful plate of food by adding vegetables, and delegating table helpers to clean up afterwards. Third graders have reading buddies and begin to serve as lunchroom helpers, called Biddies, with kindergarten and preschool students. Teachers appreciate their service as they set the tables, help younger students make healthy food choices, and model appropriate dining behavior.
Individuals on all grade levels are welcome to lead and serve whenever the right opportunity presents itself. Felix, a second grader organized a community collection for hurricane relief. His goal was to gather $1,000 dollars in loose change. His classmates helped to count all the coins, which was a good math lesson as well! Mason, a third grader, lives close to Breck. He holds an annual Halloween Haunted House. Entry to the Halloween adventure is food for the food shelf.
|Grade Level Counting Coins For Felix's Project|
There are so many ways to develop the skills for true leadership. It doesn’t develop over night. It is thoughtfully honed and nurtured. We at Breck take pride in developing the leaders of tomorrow.