The Leader in Me At RCE "Proving a leadership centered environment that honors the greatness in every child."

by Diana Duckworth, Elementary Counselor

Who holds the honor of being the most famous American of all times?
Was it George Washington? He led his troops across the Delaware River during the American Revolution, helping to gain our freedom from England and leading us to become one of the greatest nations of all time. As a result of his work, he became the first president of the United States which is quite an honor.
From a female perspective, could it have been Abigail Adams? She not only was the wife of President John Adams, but also the mother of John Quincy Adams who became the sixth president of the United States. What more important role could there be in life than simply being a great wife and mother? Mrs. Adams was also an advocate for women’s rights, standing in opposition to slavery and supporting the education of women in the late 1700s.
Ralls County fourth graders explored these two individuals as well as other leaders who have impacted American history. They researched leaders, wrote reports, and then as a culminating event hosted a “Wax Museum” exhibit at Ralls County Elementary this past month. It was amazing seeing these nine and ten year olds dressed in period costumes ready to share their famous American. Community members, parents, and elementary students were able to visit the museum and learn about the people who have led our country through times of trials, through times of exploration, and through times of triumph.
As I watched these students present their information, I wondered about the future of these fourth graders. What great Americans will Ralls County produce in the future? Is it possible that these kids will change the world? Could one of these students discover a cure for cancer? Could one of them figure out a way to to live on the moon? Is it possible that one of them will become a future president of the United States?
Our students are full of potential. I believe that these fourth graders are capable of doing great things, limited only by their willingness to be brave enough to dream impossible dreams and strong enough to work to make their dreams a reality.
Warren Bennis once said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born - that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”
The Leader in Me teaches that we must trust kids to step into leadership positions based on their talents and desires and give them the opportunity to soar…..or to fail. Personally, in life I have learned far more from my failures than I have from my successes. My successes lead me to become proud and self-focused. On the other hand, failures and mistakes lead us to reevaluate our motives and our skills. They encourage us to push on, to work harder, and to refine our skills.
Throughout this week, think about how you can be an encourager to your child, to your grandchild, or to a little boy or girl who lives in your neighborhood. Encourage them to attempt to do great things. Teach them a new skill and get involved in their lives. Working together we can unleash the leadership capability of our youth, one child at a time. After all, every child has the potential to be a leader.