Forming Young Leaders

Robin Page
Each morning in circle time, we get to hear the squeals of delight when our early childhood students are assigned to be line leader, door holder, or prayer, snack, and calendar helper. Our three-, four-, and five-year-olds love to be responsible for a task during their school day and are learning the beginning steps of being a leader. We all want our children to be happy, have good character, be kind and respectful to others, have a positive and successful life, and possess leadership abilities. Children need guidance and practice to develop skills that will grow into qualities of leadership and that can begin in their early childhood years. The development of positive social and emotional skills is essential for young learners and three specific qualities that will also develop a student’s potential for leadership are integrity, confidence, and diversity & inclusion.
  • Integrity: Children make choices all day, every day. Sometimes they make good ones and sometimes they make poor ones.  An overall goal, through our approach to social and emotional development, is to teach students to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.  In other words, make good choices, which shows integrity. Integrity also involves being honest and showing kindness. Demonstrating self-control, including listening and responding in a calm and respectful way are important traits of integrity. We need to be a role model so that our students observe this positive behavior and have them practice and repeat the development of these abilities. Working in groups to collaborate and guiding them in ways to resolve conflict are also ways to foster these actions of making good choices.

  • Confidence: We provide constant opportunities for our students to build their confidence. We encourage them in developing perseverance by not giving up and completing an activity or lesson. Positive and trusting teacher-student relationships and a safe school environment allow students to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and handle disappointment.  A key phrase we use at school is “the more we practice, the better we get”. Students are praised for having a positive attitude, showing determination, and trying their best.  The development of confidence leads to the development of problem solving skills and critical thinking, both components of a good leader.

  • Diversity & Inclusion: Our students need to learn to respect the unique qualities of each other in school, the community, and the world around them.  Exposing them to different aspects of diversity, and identifying and discussing our similarities and differences is essential in the lesson of respecting others. It also encourages early childhood aged children to treat others the way they want to be treated. We expand on this lesson by teaching our students that the right thing to do is to include each other, not exclude.
Teaching, guiding and providing opportunities to develop the attributes of integrity, confidence, and diversity & inclusion will benefit our children as they get older. It is a responsibility and a privilege to be able to equip our young students with tools that contribute to skills in leadership that will help them succeed in the present and their future.
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All Saints’ Episcopal School is a leading college preparatory day school in Fort Worth, Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal school tradition, All Saints’ offers programming of national distinction in the academic, fine art, athletic and spiritual disciplines, which brings to life our philosophy of promoting each student’s individual genius within.
All Saints’ Episcopal School © 2013
9700 Saints Circle, Fort Worth, Texas 76108 Phone: 817-560-5700