Awak­en­ing leadership

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFESTYLE | FAMILY LIFE - LEARN­ING FOR LIFE GREG WHITBY

THERE was plenty of dis­cus­sion over the sum­mer about what good leadership looks like.

I like to think it’s a strength each of us needs to de­velop, in­clud­ing at school. So what are we teach­ing stu­dents about leadership?

In my school days, pre­fects had a bad rep­u­ta­tion for ei­ther prissi­ness or tyranny.

Th­ese days, the process for choos­ing stu­dent lead­ers tends to be more demo­cratic.

But are we some­times miss­ing the op­por­tu­nity to get stu­dents think­ing about what makes a good leader?

Do the loud­est voices, most out­ra­geous or those who make the big­gest prom­ises get the gig?

Is that what we want school leadership to be?

Do you re­mem­ber when schools used to give out cit­i­zen­ship awards at as­sem­blies?

Some still do, and they’re a great way to recog­nise the leadership stu­dents con­sis­tently show as mem­bers of the school com­mu­nity.

I reckon the kids who cleaned up the cit­i­zen­ship awards prob­a­bly went pretty far in life.

Ev­ery school should still be striv­ing to make sure ev­ery stu­dent has mean­ing­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop strong leadership skills.

Couldn’t we think dif­fer­ently about leadership and show that we are all lead­ers in the struc­tures we see at school?

I don’t be­lieve there’s a place for pres­i­den­tial-style leadership con­tests in the play­ground.

I know that those who have cov­eted an SRC lapel badge

EV­ERY SCHOOL SHOULD STILL BE STRIV­ING TO MAKE SURE EV­ERY STU­DENT HAS MEAN­ING­FUL OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES TO DE­VELOP STRONG LEADERSHIP SKILLS.

may dis­agree, but I won­der how their 29 class­mates (and par­ents and car­ers) feel about it?

There is a high level of cyn­i­cism about po­lit­i­cal leadership in our com­mu­nity at the mo­ment.

What is this teach­ing young peo­ple about change and re­spon­si­bil­ity?

Let’s make sure ev­ery stu­dent is learn­ing to lead at school, rather than to be led. Greg Whitby is the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of schools for the Catholic Dio­cese of Par­ra­matta

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