We are excited to introduce a new program, which we believe will have a profound effect on the staff, students, and community of our school. Clarence Central Schools is in the initial stages of becoming a Leader in Me school where students are taught and practice the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Leader in Me program empowers young people to make positive, effective, and responsible choices by introducing and reinforcing the 7 Habits, a set of leadership and life skills from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Starting this fall, we will be implementing The Leader in Me program as an introduction to personal leadership. The Leader in Me provides students with activities that will help them learn practical character and life skills that will lead to those positive choices. Written to appeal to their age level, students are presented with fun activities designed to get them thinking. Your student is about to embark on an exciting journey and our hope is that you will ask your student how he/she is doing along the way.
Habit 1 is Be Proactive - “I am in charge of me.” This Habit is the key to moving from dependence to personal reasonability. This means the child is in charge of their choices, the consequences of those choices, how they respond in every situation, and their personal belongings. Do not feel like you need to “water it down” for younger children. They can understand and often will surprise you how eager they are to take charge of some of their own life.
Habit 2 is Begin with the End in Mind - Think about how you want something to turn out before you start it. Goal setting is an important skill for success. Set a goal. Then, break it down into small manageable pieces. A great example is a puzzle. You study the picture. Then, you sort pieces. Perhaps you’ll do the edge first. Next, you may find all the pieces of one color, and so on step by-step until it is complete.
Habit 3 is Put First Things First- “I plan for the important.” This Habit is about recognizing what is important, prioritizing time, and organizing tasks so we don’t have to constantly be stressed! Some kind of written planner is a great tool. Modeling this behavior is the best way to teach it.
Habit 4 is Think Win-Win- “Everyone can win.” It’s not me or you – it is both of us. Think win-win says there is plenty of good to go around. It is an abundant way of thinking. We are excited for the success of others. We have the courage to ask for what we want and compassion towards others. We use creative thinking to come up with a new solution that can make both of us happy.
Habit 5 is Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood- “Listen first. Talk second.” Too often instead of really listening, we are busy forming our response in our mind. This Habit is about not just hearing with our ears, but looking at body language with our eyes, and using our hearts as well. We listen to understand who that person is, how they feel about something, and how they view the world.
Habit 6: Synergize- is achieved through two or more people working together to create a better solution than either would have thought of alone. It’s not your way or my way, but a better way.
Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw - reminds us that we are more productive when we are in balance: body, brain, heart, and soul. If one area is being ignored or overused, the rest will feel the results. A good analogy for children is a car needing all 4 tires; as leaders of themselves, they need to take care of all 4 parts.