Resilience is the ability to function better than expected in response to adversity and return to healthy choices. Think of resilience (+) and trauma (-) as being on opposite sides of a balance-scale. We can tilt the scale toward positive (+) outcomes by building resilience in students and our community. How can we build their resilience? By recognizing and celebrating the leadership choices they make on a daily basis. Events, such as Leadership Day, promotion ceremonies, talent shows, and student showcases, honor students, staff, and families for their leadership growth and contributions.
We might be tempted to cancel or postpone Leadership Events as we face the challenge of remote learning. Instead, let’s consider holding virtual Leadership Events. Let’s counterbalance the fear and trauma our students may be experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and help them build resilience!
Our Step-By-Step Backward Planning Guide will help you gear up for your event. And our three tips below will help you transform it into a virtual Leadership Event to be remembered!
DREAM, PRIORITIZE, AND PLAN
Assemble a dynamic team of students, staff, and family leaders to dream and plan your event. Begin With the End in Mind by inviting all participants to share what they would want virtual guests to be saying at the conclusion of the event. Firm up some details about your event by answering the “5 Ws” in your planning session:
- Why do we want to hold a Leadership Event?
- Who is our audience?
- What is our message?
- Where will we virtually gather?
- When will the event be held?
Capture thinking using a brainstormer, and then outline your agenda.
IDENTIFY STUDENT LEADERSHIP ROLES
Just like an in-person Leadership Event, students are the event leaders and take on the majority of the work! Consider the following leadership roles:
- Master of Ceremonies: introduces each virtual program element
- Moderator: monitors the chat room
- Videographer/Photographer: records the session or takes screenshots of the event
- Marketing Team: designs the video invitation and/or social media post
ADJUST FOR THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT
Engaging remote participants means allowing for discussion, breakout rooms, chat-box participation, hand signals, and more! We suggest keeping your event to no more than 1–2 hours, even shorter for very young participants. Determine the best web-conferencing space to use and hold a dress rehearsal to help all student leaders understand the virtual environment and their responsibilities. Don’t forget to hit the “record” button for reflection and preservation.
Help your students build resilience by planning, practicing, and holding a virtual Leadership Event, whether big or small.