Practicing the 7 Habits

The students in Ms. Whitaker’s class have been working through a program called Leader in Me to learn leadership skills and maintain a positive classroom culture. Based on the bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, the program teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. For example, one of the habits that the students have been practicing is “be proactive.” They learned that being proactive means taking responsibility for their actions with the help of a song that goes: “be proactive, you’re in charge of you.”

Another habit that the students have been learning from the program is “think win-win,” which teaches that students should seek cooperation when they run into problems with other people. When students find themselves in a conflict with each other, they are encouraged to think about how everyone can walk away from the situation in a better mood. The students are learning to talk things out with each other, listen to others, and reflect on other people’s thoughts and feelings.

The Leader in Me program is helping to create a positive classroom climate. During their daily circles, the students have been talking about how they were proactive or how they practiced the habit of thinking win-win. They are also learning that practicing these habits brings rewards. The students who exemplify all the CHAMP requirements by showing that they are a leader get to go to the “treasure chest” at the end of the day for a small prize. Additionally, they get to participate in Fantastic Friday, which takes place during the final half hour of every Friday and consists of a reward that the students vote for on Monday. So far, some of the rewards have included watching movies, coloring, ordering pizza, playing games, and making slime!