A leader is someone with whom others will go where they wouldn’t normally go by themselves.
We have many students who have decided they will never have any use for a lot of what we are teaching and have little to no interest in investing a lot of energy into learning what we have to offer.
The key is leadership.
As a means to hone our leadership skills and increase the chance that our students will want to exceed expectations, we can study books such as Enlightened Leadership by Doug Krug and Ed Oakley and Principle Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey. These and others like them are loaded with powerful techniques for creating environments in which people will go far beyond where they would go without an effective leader.
One leadership tip comes to us from a saying attributed to Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung, 1893-1976), “A sign of a great leader is everybody else thinks it’s their idea.” Design leadership activities in the classroom that include engaging students in discovery and involvement in the development of criteria, rules, rubrics, assessment options and learning activities.