Leadership Guides: Pass It On
March 4, 2019

For many of us, school involves a constant churn of unpacking standards, overflowing inboxes, and a lot of meetings. It can become a real challenge to stay connected to our mission and committed to learning about leadership. Our last intention is to capitulate time for direct instruction. But it can happen. And it may impact the way we see the Student Leadership Guides.

We often think of lessons as tasks to be completed in one block of time. When we look at the Student Leadership Guides, we can shake our heads and think, “I don’t have time to do all that.” But what if we saw each individual lesson as an opportunity for week-long learning, a series of mini lessons, no longer than 10 minutes each? It’s a paradigm shift from small-scale tactics dictated by the busyness of school to big-picture strategy guided by priorities–and it can be transformative.  

Ready to take another look at those Leadership Guides? Try this approach…

  1. Think big-picture when it comes to pacing.

    The Leadership Guides are organized into four sections. Consider targeting one section each quarter.

    • Quarter 1: Creating a Leadership Classroom
    • Quarter 2: Leading Self (Habits 1–3)
    • Quarter 3: Leading Others (Habits 4–6)
    • Quarter 4: More Ways to Lead (Habit 7 and beyond)
  2. Stretch it out.

    Each leveled guide contains lessons covering 38 key concepts. With 180 days and around 36 weeks of school, we’re looking at around one lesson or one key concept per week. Post the week’s new key concept as a visual reminder or use a quality tool to capture thinking throughout the week. And check out the way these big ideas spiral across each level, looking for Teach to Learn opportunities with buddy classes.  

  3. Take a mini lessons approach.

    What if we took ten minutes each day to break the lesson down over the course of a week? Our plan may look like this:

    • Monday and Tuesday: Introduce the key concept. Use the main lesson to highlight key vocabulary words. Download and tap into the slide decks (available for Levels 1-6) and portions of the activities in the Student Leadership Guides as time allows.
    • Wednesday: Play a game or do an activity from the class application section of the guide.
    • Thursday: Pull out Leadership Notebooks and give students an opportunity to capture reflections in the My Leadership section from the individual application section of the guide.
    • Friday: Brainstorm ways to share learning with families over the weekend.  
  4. Be flexible.

    It’s okay if every activity isn’t completed. And remember, lessons from the Leadership Guides can, but don’t have to, be taught in the order they’re presented.

It’s easy to feel weighed down by the sheer volume of things to do and believe that we don’t have enough time to dedicate to the parts of our jobs we love–like building relationships with students. The Leadership Guides help us to simultaneously create a supportive emotional environment in the classroom and empower students to lead their own learning. We call that a Win-Win!

Classroom Resources

Align Student Leadership Guides to the 5 Core Paradigms of Leader in Me with our Leadership Guide Lessons resource.

For a tutorial on how to break up a Student Leadership Guide lesson through out a week, take a look at our “mini lessons” approach.

Learn More

Watch this video to learn more about how to use Student Leadership Guides.


Click here to download Student Leadership Guides.

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