A group of us are meeting with Ms Brown to learn some more leadership skills to add to our repertoire as we lead in our schools and communities. Check out what we've been learning. :-)

On the first day we met with Ms Brown we began by looking at ourselves, asking, “Who Am I?”
J We brainstormed 20 things about ourselves.
J We thought about the impact we have on others, and what they would say about us.
J We listened to a story called “Timmy’s Flower” about a boy who lost his creativity in conforming to what other people wanted.
JWe talked about how important it is to have a good self-image to be a good friend and a good leader. Believing in yourself is vital if you are a leader at school or in the community.
J We wrote something we believe about ourselves and how that is a great skill to have as a leader. Then we rolled up the paper, put it in a balloon, which we blew up. On the balloon we wrote things that we struggle with or that make us believe we can’t be a good leader. Then we went outside and popped it! That’s a great picture for what we can do to get rid of fears and untruths that hold us back from who we are as leaders.
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Later on the first day we found out about integrity as we reflected on “How I live.”
J We looked at little white lies, and made multi-choices with some scenarios about telling the truth or telling little lies.
J We took part in “Integrity Chairs” and it was clear all of us had told little white lies and lacked integrity.
J We figured out integrity is walking securely in who we are, matching what we say and do, being honest and not cheating, following through on the commitments we make, and being ourselves, not trying to be like someone else.
J Alan Simpson says, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you have don’t integrity, nothing else matters”. We chewed that over and talked about what he meant. We talked about examples of integrity and how to show it.

The second day we met our focus was on “Getting Along with Others.”
J We started with “0800 YOU CHOOSE… and found that often we look on the outside appearance rather than who people are on the inside. All of us need to be accepted by someone.
JWe talked about who the popular people are at school and about the difference that we can make as leaders who accept others.
J We used a T Chart to look at ‘Outward Qualities’ and ‘Inward Qualities’ of people chosen to be leaders.
J Then we looked at some key things we could do to actively show our acceptance of other people this week.
IMG_4996.jpgJ A practical way of getting along with others came next. In teams we started to plan for a games morning that we would run for some junior students at Winton School. As we pulled together and did our part, it was fun getting to know each other more and getting along together.

Later that morning we looked at stress and “How I Cope.”
J Everyone experiences stress in different ways every day. To be effective leaders we need to deal with stress.
JWe talked about stress at school and ways to deal with it. We took a “Stress Rating” test. We found different things cause different people stress. We also found that some stress is caused by us, some by someone or something else, and some stress is caused by both us and others.
J The people we figured we could talk to when we are stressed include parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers and friends, since talking is the best action when you are stressed.
JWe identified some ways we stress and we checked out a plan to help us when we are stressed.
J We figured out an area we are experiencing stress in at school and then made a stress plan of some things we might do to reduce the stress AND a person we’d talk to for advice.

The third time we came together we looked at “The Choices I Make.”
J “Decisions… decisions… decisions” was a fun way to start to think about the choices we make, but it had a serious message. The choices or decisions we make have an impact later on.
J “Speak to me, o wise one” was an opportunity for us to move into place in a line depending on whether we thought the decision was “Up to You” or time to get “People’s Advice.”
JSome choices are moral choices. They are a choice between right & wrong, good & bad, true & false. They have one clear answer & are like going up a one way street.
JOther choices are multi-choice, there’s no clear answer & it’s like a T intersection. It’s helpful to apply a decision- making process.
JWe checked out some scenarios, ranking the options from most negative to most positive outcomes. It was interesting because we all had different ideas about what was the worst thing that could happen in each scenario.

Later in the morning we got personal and practical as we talked about “How I Serve Others.”
J We looked at pictures and quotes about different ways to lead.
J Sometimes leadership is about serving people, not up front.
J Sometimes leadership is about knowing our strengths and weaknesses and still contributing our small part to the whole puzzle.
J Sometimes leadership involves being upfront and finishing what you start.
JWe heard a story about a little boy who gave his blood to someone in need, even though he thought he’d die doing it. Putting others before yourself is important as a leader and, like the little boy, often it turns out much better than we expect.
IMG_4990.jpgJ If you ever need a hand… you can count on mine!
JAs the practical way of serving others we went back into our teams to plan for the games morning that we would run for some junior students at Winton School.

On the last day we put our plans into action.
J Our teams set up the equipment and worked out our roles, so we knew who was doing and saying what.
J We had 2 rounds outside and then it rained so much we had to transfer inside. Just as well we had prepared for such a thing happening!
J It was such a great experience and the juniors loved our games!!
J We finished off our time together back at REAP Community Room, reflecting on all we’d learnt and how much we’ve contributed as individuals and teams to making this an experience worth participating in.

JJ Now our challenge is to use all of the skills and experiences we’ve had as we are leaders back in our schools and communities. JJ