Takeaways From @TheLeaderinMe

This past school year was a transition year for my school with character education programs. We are transitioning to The Leader in Me process. It is a FranklinCovey whole school transformation process. The Leader in Me is all about developing kids as LEADERS with 21 century skills and a strong foundation of principles, or habits, they need to be successful in life. Those habits are: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw.

The Book

I just finished reading the The Leader in Me book and want to run and tell everyone about it! I found myself fist pumping and saying “yassssss” frequently, because the principles in the book are all about a growth mindset and EMPOWERING KIDS!! The ideas in the book are practical and relevant. The authors include research and various studies that support the impact of the principles. When I was reading the book, I felt like my thinking was challenged (in a good way), all while my values for teaching were strengthened. I’m fortunate to have learned about The Leader in Me from my district and that my school, along with the other elementary schools in the district, are adopting this process. We have each other to bounce ideas off of; we’re in this transformation process together. Your school or district may have a different character education program, but I would still recommend reading The Leader in Me! The 7 Habits are something we can all adopt into our own lives to grow as individuals, and principles that we can surely use in our classroom to support our students being leaders. All in all, I felt the authors addressed realities in education and realities about today’s learners that WE ALL need to hear.

My Goal for the School Year

My goal for the 2017-2018 school year is to fully implement the 7 Habits into everything we do in the classroom. It is definitely possible to pick up on the language of The Leader in Me, integrate the habits into lessons, and take advantage of teachable moments. Focusing right now on the first trimester, I will be intentional with read alouds so we can discuss the habits of the characters. I’m also going to be making icon cards of the habits to fit in our schedule chart, so the kids know when they are practicing the habits. Once I get to know my new group of kiddos, I’ll know how to better support them. 🙂

My Favorite Quotes and Takeaways

While I was reading the book, I created some info-graphics, Tweeted, and made note of quotes that really spoke to me. What I have included does no justice to the entirety of The Leader in Me process; there is SO MUCH MORE that you will have to discover yourself by reading the book. 😉

Peace of mind shows up on students’ faces when four basic needs are being met:

  • Physical (safety, health, food, exercise, shelter, cleanliness, and hygiene)
  • Social-emotional (acceptance, kindness, friendship, respect)
  • Mental (intellectual growth, creativity, and stimulating challenges)
  • Spiritual (contribution, meaning, and uniqueness)

“Since not all four needs are met in every home, many students come to school hungry for them.”  page 29


“The more students feel healthy and safe today (physical needs) the more they feel accepted and appreciated for who they are today (social-emotional need), the more they feel their minds challenged and progressing today (mental need), and the more they feel their spirits lifted today (spiritual need), the more open they become to thinking about their tomorrows.” page 31

“The place to begin a school transformation is with examining the paradigms – the ways of thinking – and the actions of the people, starting with the staff.” page 38

“Leadership is communicating a person’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” page 39

“The ultimate end in mind is for students to develop the skills and mindsets that will allow them to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others throughout life, and to make a meaningful contribution wherever they go in life – at home, at school, at work, at play.” page 39

“Technology lessons involve students in designing that requires students to “begin with the end in mind.”” page 48

When students research and teach a concept, “It empowers them to learn in ways that maximize their learning retention, transfer of learning, and self confidence.” page 58

“We cannot always choose what happens to us in life, but we can choose our responses.” page 62

“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
– Sir Ken Robinson, The Element page 63

“Being a leader means being a contributor, and sometimes doing what others will not do.” page 79

“The most fundamental assumption of The Leader in Me is that every child is important, every child has gifts.” page 85

“Leadership is about effectiveness, doing the right things. Management is about efficiency, doing things right.” page 88

“Sometimes we work so hard and log to change students, when in reality the more powerful, lasting step is to first change our paradigms. Lead people, manage things.” page 92

“Children can do impressive things when taught principles and trusted to contribute.” page 135

“It is difficult for children to feel of worth if they are not given opportunities to do things of worth.” page 148

“If you identify a need, give them responsibility, and get out of their way, they become leaders.” page 196

“Students like chances to lead, but mostly when it is their ideas they are pursuing.” page 197

“Principles will provide a lasting foundation for change, wherever a student chooses to go in life.” page 233

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