The role of teachers in the development of children is crucial. We all know that educators have to teach their students the curriculum - but it's often not mentioned that teachers are also expected to help with other aspects student development, such as the skills they need to develop to prepare for adulthood.
When the school curriculum itself does not have a separate curriculum for student leadership development, it is up to the teacher's initiative to ensure that their students have the opportunity to explore and develop their leadership potential. Here are 5 activities for teachers to grow leadership skills in children.
1. Let the children organize an event
Even for adults, organizing an event is not an easy thing. For school-aged children, it can be very daunting. However, if you present it as a challenge with a reward if they succeed, school children may overcome their fears and view it as something fun. Event organizing is a great way to let children develop their leadership skills.
The effort requires teamwork and team building, planning, cooperation, and sometimes, even negotiation and compromise. It does not have to be a big event. You can have them organize talent shows or literary festivals. The point is to give them the opportunity to organize the event themselves, and to expose them to a situation where they will need to discuss and decide among themselves.
2. Play games
In professional leadership training, you will almost always find games. In the same way that adults enjoy games, kids enjoy them even more. And when your students are having fun, they are more open to learning. Most teachers probably already know that playing games is a fun and effective teaching method. You can also teach kids about leadership through games.
“Leading the blindfolded” is a great example of a leadership development game. Trust and communication are just two of the most important concepts kids can learn from playing this game.
3. Reward positivity
A good leader is a positive thinker. To encourage your students to be leaders, you should acknowledge and reward behaviors that demonstrate leadership skills. The reward itself does not have to be something big like a trophy or a medal. Stars, badges, a call for applause, or even a simple “good job!” can work wonders for children.
When you reward your students whenever you hear them say “I can do this” or “we can win”, it will not only motivate them to continue being positive - it will also boost student confidence.
4. Encourage out of the box thinking
Good leaders are excellent at thinking creatively and solving problems. Every time you give a quiz to your students, always include a bonus item that involves a lateral thinking question. This will help train your students to think outside the box and encourage them to be creative in solving problems.
Lateral thinking puzzles can help them learn about looking at something from a different perspective, develop their analytical skills, and help broaden their minds. There are many lateral thinking quiz resources on the internet that are appropriate for school children.
5. Hold team activities
Sports and team activities will always have a place in discussions about activities that help develop leadership skills. Even though not everyone can be the team captain and experience leading a team, you can always teach your students the value of teamwork and cooperation.
And you can also organize your sports activity such that each of your students can have the opportunity of being the team leader at least once. Reward not only those teams who won, but also acknowledge the students who showed great leadership.
It is very important for you, the teacher, to remember that children learn by modeling behavior. Showing your students that you are a good leader will greatly help them develop and grow their leadership skills.
Maria is part of the community outreach team at Edu Aid. Maria is passionate about ongoing education at all ages, and when she isn’t learning new things is a keen walker and cyclist and can be found exploring.