Everybody Leads…

So we have had an amazing start to the school year, and I couldn’t be more proud of our teachers, students and staff. It has been inspiring to see the attention that everyone has given to the relationship building piece, and truly heartwarming to see the tremendous effort that has been given to ensure that each and every one of our students has had a wonderful start to the year…it has been beautiful to watch. Our “all hands on deck” approach this last week really got me thinking about what true leadership is, and how we all have the power and opportunity to lead our students, each other and our community forward in our own unique ways. Leadership is not about position or title, it is about inspiring those around you to do, and to be better. I saw this in very tangible ways last week and I’m excited to see it continue throughout the year.

 

I love the quote by John Quincy Adams, which essentially says that to be a leader your actions must inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more…and I couldn’t agree more! Leadership, in one form or another lies down deep in all of us, and once we recognize/internalize this, and find a way to share it with the world, our lives and the lives of those around us will be profoundly impacted for the better. All that said, I think one of the biggest opportunities that we have as educators is to bring out and foster this leadership potential in our students. 

 

        Of all the amazing acts of leadership that I witnessed over the past few days in our school, some of the most inspiring came from our kids. From leading our house system games and cheers, to sitting with other students who were all by themselves at lunch or in the playground, and by actively seeking out our new kids who are going through the scary and intimidating act of transitioning to a new school, our kids in many instances have been showing us the way. Many times when schools look for ways to improve their community and culture they neglect to look for, ask for, or listen to, the input of their student body. I don’t want to be one of those schools. I want to bring our school mission to life, and truly “inspire ethical and empathetic student leaders”. We have outstanding students and student leaders here, and if we find ways to let our kids lead with us then we can achieve anything. If last week was any indication, it truly is the students who have the power to take our community where it needs to go. It was a telling reminder to me that just when we thought we had all of the answers as educated adults, the true inspiration often lies with the kids!

 

        Anyway, I think it’s important to spread the mantra of “everybody leads” throughout our school, and to make a concerted effort to be the leaders that we can be for our students on a daily basis, and to inspire the same with our kids. Leadership is not something that is set aside for the few, or for the ones who have specific titles, it is something that is in all of us, ready to be shared through our daily interactions with everyone and anyone that we come in contact with. I’m challenging you this year to embrace your inner leader, and to find ways to inspire others simply by being the person that you are. We had an amazing first week, and there’s no reason why we can’t make every week just like that.. You see, everybody has the power to lead in our school, and together we can transform our community in incredible ways. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be leaders for our kids and good to each other. 
Quote ​of the Week…

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader — John Quincy Adams

 

Leadership Articles/websites –

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/archived-issues.aspx

http://www.studentleadershipchallenge.com

http://teachforall.org/en/1000studentleadersabout

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201402/is-everyone-leader

http://sourcesofinsight.com/everyone-is-a-leader/

 

Greatness – David Marquet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqmdLcyES_Q

 

Great TED Talks on Leadership –

http://www.ted.com/playlists/140/how_leaders_inspire

 

School of Rock – Classroom Leadership

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvpJDbWX_c

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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