Well done for investing your time in the essential skills of leadership.
If you are a learner
- Even though some are stupidly difficult, try a level 4 leadership challenge. (Click here)
- If you can’t do it – tell your teacher about this site and ask them to set you a level 1 challenge.
- If you do level 1 really well ask for a level 2 challenge then a level 3
- In a few months when you have done well at lots of level 3 challenges (click here) to try level 4 without help from your teacher.
- Good luck and remember “slow progress is better than no progress”
If you are a teacher
Leadership requires independence and self direction by students so if you wish to build the skills of leadership you will need to set challenges for your students which build these skills and prepare them to take on challenges independently.
None of the challenges are hard to set up. The difficult part is making sure you don’t over challenge or under-challenge your students. Find ways of publicly praising achievement at each level so you know which level each person is going on to next. Beware those that hide behind the abilities of others and end up in a situation beyond
Examples of challenges at level 1
For the basics of leadership you want to make sure the student can work with others effectively in a team, make sure everyone is involved and take their turn.
You can see these behaviours after only 10 minutes of observation so no need for the activity to be particularly long. For example
Any activity which requires students to work collaboratively for 10 minutes or more
- Teams of students are given a time limit to produce a poster together
- Teams of students are asked to clear away an activity together
- Teams of students act out a scene from a play together
- Teams work out the solution to a problem or practical experiment by working together
There is an excellent grid you can use to observe the interactions in a group and check that the leader is involving everyone equally. The grid is described on the following site (apologies if the owner moves it!)
Examples of challenges at level 2
At level 2 you need to allow students to work together with others in ways that require agreement.
A game in which the rules have to be agreed or designed by the group is an excellent example
Examples of challenges at level 3
At this level the students need to take on roles and the leader needs to know who is doing what and why.
At the end of the activity draw on some examples you have seen and praise these behaviours to use them as exemplars for the other students.
Leadership role – the evidence you are looking for is a learner who has a clear understanding of what the team is trying to achieve, is positive and volunteers both ideas and solutions. They want the team to be successful.
Manager role – this is a learner who knows what each of the people in the team is supposed to be doing. You may hear them refer to the time that the team have left or when asked a question they may go automatically to the person who should answer it.
Coach role – this is the learner who helps other people, checks they are happy and if they are excluded tries to bring them back in.
Evaluator role – this is the learner who uses praise to encourage the team or individuals in the team. Evaluation is probably not a word used often by students so may be substituted by a word used elsewhere in the school such as assess or review.