I know you’re busy and finding time to read the second chapter of The Leader in Me can be difficult, so I thought I’d send you summaries of the chapter in small doses. I would still hope that you would read the chapter on your own, because I know you’ll find more in the book than what I share in these mini-summaries. Here’s what I found important in the first few pages of chapter 2.
The Leader in Me – A CFIS Book Study
Chapter 2 – Summary 1 (pages 16-22):
Muriel Thomas Summers – Principal of A.B. Combs Elementary School – shares her story about how Leader in Me came to her school. After attending a seminar by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, she found herself wondering how she could teach 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to her students, so they wouldn’t have to wait until they were adults to learn them.
“If they looked through the lens of the 7 Habits beginning at an early age and continued to look through that lens for the rest of their lives, how different not only their lives might be, but how different our world might be.”
Muriel shares how her school was a magnet school, but was beginning to lose its appeal. She was told by the superintendent that because the school wasn’t attracting enough students, they would have to come up with a new magnet theme or they would redefine the boundaries and go back to a traditional school. “In other words, ‘Reinvent yourselves or be de-magnetized.’”
Muriel and her staff went to work to “dream up the right school-saving solution.” They talked to parents and community leaders and asked them what they wanted in a school. They all voiced the same type of things: “They wanted children to grow up to be responsible, caring, and compassionate human beings who respected diversity and who knew how to do the right thing when faced with difficult decisions.” It was not about academics. It was about building character and basic life skills.
The staff of the school also made it clear that they did not want another thing to teach. “They were already working very hard and bordering on burnout, so the new theme could not be one more burden plopped onto their overloaded plates.”
What the staff did want was to be proud of their school.
They wanted something that would set them apart.
“They wanted self-motivated students who liked coming to school. They spoke of becoming a staff that other schools envied in terms of knowledge, creativity, resources, and up-to-date methodologies.”
“They wanted to have their talents used and to go home each day feeling they had made a difference.”
More to come…