Home

This Is About Me– My Life!

May 17, 2010

My daughter taking a Strategic Pause

I chose this title for my final post about The Leader in Me, because this statement reflects what the students feel at these various schools where the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People have been implemented (all over the world, I might add!). Regardless of how they went about it, the feedback seems to be same. The students recognize and appreciate that these principles, courses and events are about helping them have amazing lives; about identifying how spectacular and unique they are, and about dreaming and achieving.

I’ve referred mostly to A.B. Combs Elementary, the first school to take on The Leader in Me. Their success was so profound that in 2006 they were named the number one magnet school in the U.S. Amazing. However, they are not the only school to achieve success. The second half of the book details how middle and high schools implement the principles differently than do elementary schools, but have also found significant success. Covey highly suggests that each school doit “Their Own Way.” The important part of implementation is not necessarily how it is done, but how the children and teachers feel. Here is a list of a few other schools highlighted in the book with a snapshot of how they infused the Habits:

  • Singapore – Chua Chu Kang Primary School: Habits 1-3 are taught to the 10 year olds; Habits 4-7 are taught to 11 year olds, and all of the Habits are taught to the 12 year olds, who were preparing for their national exam.
  • Chicago – Noble Street Charter School in Chicago: The 7 Habits are taught as part of the year-long freshman literature class. Students read the 7 Habits for Teens as well as a series of “personal journey” books that promote taking charge of one’s life and overcoming opposition.
  • California – Mar Vista High School: The 7 Habits are taught as part of a stand-alone course called Crossroads. It entails a potpourri of life and career skills and uses the Habits as foundation for the course, which is taught to freshman. They also read the 7 Habits for Teens, and use the matching Student Activity Guide.
  • Singapore – Clementi Town Secondary School: Created a program called HEY (Highly Effective Youth) to help first-year students transition from lower level to upper secondary level. They focus on one Habit per week and infuse the Habit into all coursework and via events.
  • Guatemala – Across all High Schools: The Minister of Education wanted to address the “hopelessness” that most youth felt in the country. She wanted to teach the kids to dream of a better country and a better life. She created the Path of Dreams program to give youth the tools to learn how to dream again and help them create a Life Plan. Students also are required to develop action plans to help remedy a social problem (in teams), like AIDS, or child abuse.

One common thread across all schools listed in the book is that all teachers are taught the 7 Habits prior to implementation.

In beginning this journey my goal was not to set out to prepare my children to be CEOs, but to be able to lead their own lives; to give them timeless principles that can serve as road maps for them daily. As children, their issues may not seem as complex as ours, but certainly they seem BIG to them. Whether it is sharing a cherished toy (for my 5-year-old), or dealing with peer pressure (for my 11-year-old). I feel confident that 7 Habits will help them make the best choices for them in the moment. And, if they happen not to make the choice I would have liked for them to make, well, it will provide another opportunity for us all to reflect and learn.

The final chapter of the book guides parents, like me, to implement these principles at home. Covey recommends using  The Power of Modeling, which includes these important components:

  1. Inspire Trust: The best way for your children to learn the Habits is to see you modeling them.
  2. Clarify Purpose: Be clear on what you want your children to learn/accomplish. What is your family’s mission? If you don’t have one, create one. Identify milestones.
  3. Align Systems: How will you get buy-in? How will you teach the principles (books, activities, etc.). How will your children be held accountable and rewarded?
  4. Unleash Talent: How will you nurture your children’s gifts. How will your children be involved in planning and goal setting? Will they be empowered or micro-managed?

Finally, Covey suggests incorporating a tradition that A.B. Combs created, called the “strategic pause.” He calls it “recompassing.” I loved this idea and will be teaching it to my children for sure!

It involves having students/your children pause for a few minutes, take a drink of water, stretch their bodies, look toward the light, and think of something hopeful. It is a way of re-energizing and refocusing them.

In closing, I will share a beautiful quote found in the book by Helen Keller, whose own challenges led her to be a mentor to many children:

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in, and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore…and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without a compass…and had no way of knowing how near the harbour was. ‘Light! give me light!’ was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. – Helen Keller

May all of our children be shown the way, with love, light, and leadership.

Have a great week!

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Advertisements

One Response to “This Is About Me– My Life!”

  1. Mom Says:

    Inspirational!
    And you offer so much promise!

    I feel this statement is so true, and doable, for children as well as all of us:

    “It involves having students/your children pause for a few minutes, take a drink of water, stretch their bodies, look toward the light, and think of something hopeful. It is a way of re-energizing and refocusing them.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: