Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Leader in Me: 7 Habits-based Schools

I've gotten questions about a program by Stephen Covey's organization known as "The Leader In Me" (Book link one, two, and three) The program resonates with me because I use the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in my work as a School Improvement consultant for a county consisting of 34 school districts, plus charter and private schools. I'm always recommending the 7 Habits to staffs during PD work I do as it's an effective way to manage one's personal and professional life. Just as important, the Habits are a way to develop students' voice.

With regard to "The Leader in Me" program, to be honest, I only know what Dr. Stephen Covey and his team said during their talk for Galileo Leaders and Alumni in February. Dr. Covey was inspiring and his executive was thorough in describing the program. Two things moved me to want to explore further this program that has gone national. The first were the videos of students, administrators, and stakeholders from an elementary school, A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary in Raleigh, NC:

2001 Lorimer Road                                       View Videos Here
Raleigh, NC 27606-2661
(919) 233-4300

The second helpful piece was the data the presenters shared about the schools having success. Unfortunately, no handouts on this information was shared, but you can call them at 800-272-6839. Although, I'd suggest calling A.B. Combs. It's something I'm considering.

7 Habits is a great culture building standard to incorporate into curriculum. For example, I volunteered for my kids' school trip to a program called Exchange City. For a day, the students take on adult work roles and manage businesses and municipalities. It was an enriching experience that I'd recommend to any classroom interested in helping kids connect the subject of economics to the adult working world. During the process, some children seemed overwhelmed with the tasked needed to be done. An accountant for one business has responsibilities to input all payments and expenditures, pay bills, and collect payments on certain bills from other businesses. She felt pulled in so many directions that little was accomplished and her frustration grew. "Begin with the End in Mind" and "Put First Things First" would be a great learning experience for all of the students, incorporated into the economics unit. Overall, the children had a positive experience, which could have been further deepened.

Begin with the Leader in Me trains teachers how to embed the 7 Habits into curriculum so that students build them into their lives, and pass on the learning to their family. Check it out, it's worth the exploration.