Question Detail

How do you entice student leaders to benefit you?

May 7, 2013 2:45am

How do you entice those students who can be leaders for or against your classroom environment?


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    • May 7, 2013 8:38am

      Great question! With those students, I often created leadership positions for them or had them serve as "special helpers" before/after school. That created opportunities for us to build relationship. I also think it is useful to set aside time in class meetings to discuss what being a leader is. What does leadership look like/sound like.

      • May 7, 2013 6:38pm


        I find the best thing to bring those students on board is to make an effort to make personal connections with them. For example, at our school we have something called silent mentoring, where each teacher on our team chooses a student to mentor in secret - meaning the student never knows about it, but as a teacher, you make an effort to reach out to that student every day. I can't even tell you how much of a difference it makes when you talk to your students as people, and not as students. Once I silently mentored a student and every time we talked, it was about basketball, or how he wanted to be a cop. When his locker wouldn't lock correctly, I allowed him to store his IPhone in my closet so he's stop in every morning to drop it off. Even though connecting with him took a minute a day, he was the first one to tell the class to listen when I talked. If you've never tried silent mentoring, I highly recommend it. It's amazing how a little can go a long way.

        Good luck!

        • May 8, 2013 9:28pm

          To entice students to be leaders, you should give them opportunities to lead. But one thing has to be kept in mind, and that is if you have leaders, are other students mere followers? The best way to develop leaders is to give everyone some type of autonomy and responsibility, so no one gets left out, and give leaders the responsibility and autonomy to oversee things or to do things that have more autonomy and/or responsibility. We should be promoting all students as leaders, and all students can assume some form of autonomy; some students may require additional autonomy and responsibility.

          • May 31, 2013 11:31am

            I recently heard a resident teacher describe a classroom teacher she observed who made a big deal about how she (the teacher) couldn't do her job without that student doing their job.

            For example "Man, you were absent yesterday and it was just SO HARD for me to get the students' attention without you to ring the bell! I can't do it without you!". I think this obviously made the student's job seem REALLY important in the eyes of the children, and while it was obviously not actually hard for the teacher, it made the student feel really important.

            It also helped that challenging student to build a positive reputation in the classroom amongst his or her peers.

            • Oct 6, 2014 4:06pm

              Let them actually be leaders in something worthwhile. If they are in high school, try www.OnGiantsShoulders.ORG