Leadership: What does it mean for a school student?

“This is my number. Every morning I will send you a motivational message. You might not find it useful at the very moment but someday you will”.

When you hear such words coming from a person who has had the singular honor of working as a research associate of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, you smile and realize that you would want to learn from him. We felt the same and so did our students who had started teaching 50+ junior students of their own school under Involve’s Student Fellowship program. We had planned a leadership session for our little champs and we approach Vipin Kannan Sir, the professor from Anna University to facilitate the session. 

When he gladly accepted our request we knew that we would make the day worth remembering for our students. On 2nd of February, 40+ students and our team along with Vipin sir got Involved again. Making the students understand what leadership is and the qualities of a good leader were no easy task.

The session started with a warm “Good Morning” where everyone was asked to rub their hands with a smile on their face, for nothing you wear is more important than your smile. They were asked to get up and say “GOOD MORNING  with all their heart and the response was so loud, It made the start seem more energetic.

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The educators started looking all the more interested towards what was going to come ahead. They were then given Chocolates and asked to eat without bending their elbows. After a few unsuccessful trials, they asked their nearby students for help and offered the chocolates to each other.

Vipin sir added that as we grow up we always think about taking something instead of giving first. There are many people who don’t give their chocolates to anyone else, and that is why they are not able to get it back. Both giving and taking should be a part of life.

“Giving what you have, and giving without expectations” is something which a leader should always have.”

The educators were also asked to draw the palm of their hands in 10 seconds. When Vipin Sir asked them how many had actually put their own palm on the paper and draw it, there was no reply. They were made to understand the dangers of assumptions and why a leader never counts on assumption.  He explained that we actually assumed the shape of the palm as we see a palm almost every day, but leaders don’t do this.

Leaders don’t count on assumption. They have to be sure that what they are doing is right so that there may not be any problem in the future.

The students also made goals for themselves and promised that they would let go of things which stop them from attaining them.

In the 2nd part of the workshop, the student educators were about to surprised us more with their creativity and intellect. The excitement and involvement they depicted in carrying out the activities which are assigned to them were commendable. 

They made costumes out of newspapers dressing as aliens and used straws and vibrant face paints giving us a glimpse of how boundless their power of imagination was. They were grouped into teams and every team came up with ideas like Google translate to understand what the “aliens” are trying to convey and touched upon sensitive issues like the obliviousness of people who are too busy to help others in times of need ( say, an accident) but always have time for texting and selfies.

The best part of the play was the spontaneity and fluency they depict in delivering dialogues. One would have a hard time believing that the plays weren’t staged and rehearsed.  

Watching them perform, we realized how motivated they were towards achieving a common goal. Their sense of commitment towards every task given to them was truly remarkable. They appreciate each other and showcased a healthy competition.

The learning experience that came out of this group activity:
– How to coordinate with members of the team
– Inviting ideas from everyone as a leader
– Everyone’s ideas would be different, and we must learn to listen to it.  

After every single activity, the sound of applause and cheering filled the room with enthusiasm.

They learned how to work with courage and have an internal locus of control. The activities also helped them understand more of the emotional and Core self-evaluations principles which a leader should have. Through awareness of what it takes to be a leader, we hope they begin building habits that lead to increased effectiveness. And when Vipin sir mentioned a bit about how our brain works, one of the very interesting points came up. It was,

Brains that fire together, wire together

Our aim was to give them the best possible experience and we are very thankful to Vipin Sir for helping us achieve that. We hope that experiences like this, coupled with the implementation through our PEER Teaching process develops our educators into leaders of tomorrow! 🙂

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