by Katy McDowall
As a teacher, you have enough on your plate—why add teaching leadership into the mix? Are students not already getting a sense of leadership through watching you lead the class, engaging in group work, giving presentations, and taking part in their extracurricular activities throughout the school year?
Courses in leadership abound in higher education settings, especially in business schools, as well as through professional development seminars for business leaders, school administrators, and other careers. Focused study of leadership in the K–12 classroom, however, is harder to come by. Yet, there are many benefits to teaching leadership to younger students. Top of the list is preparing students to become tomorrow’s leaders. Learning leadership skills sets up students for future success throughout school, their careers, and beyond.
If you’re new to addressing leadership in the classroom, here are several resources to get you started:
- This article from Education Week provides five strategies for developing student leadership, including exploring stories of leaders, improving students’ intrinsic motivation, and tackling issues within the community.
- In The Leader in Me: How Schools Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time, author Stephen R. Covey took the seven “habits” from his well-known The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and described how they’re used to build leadership programs in schools around the country.
- The Leader in Me Blog details 10 ways to teach leadership through math and science content, including focusing on leadership skills developed through using the scientific method, making connections to leadership through the Common Core State Standards, and studying leaders in STEM fields.
- Leadership for Kids is a curriculum for building leadership in gifted students in grades 3–6. The book, available from Prufrock Press, features 40 easy-to-implement mini-lessons and a variety of strategies for engaging students in studying leadership.
- Education World highlights strategies in this blog post, such as putting students in charge and facilitating leadership lessons.
- In this article, Penn State Extension details 10 ways to help kids develop leadership skills.
- Last but not least, both Forbes and Entrepreneur discuss a number of tips you can adapt for use in the classroom or share with parents to instill leadership skills in their kids at a home.