In the classroom, the leadership role is typically filled by the teacher or adult in the room. As educators guide students to make decisions for themselves and develop their overall intellect and self-confidence, some leeway has to be made for students to be able to step into leadership roles. We recently sat down with Todd Nesloney to discuss how educators can promote student leadership in their classrooms.

5 Ways To Promote Student Leadership

1. Student choice

One example of giving students control over how they learn. Choices can be given through the level of learning, the topic of interest, or an actual way of learning. These choices can be digital or handwritten and students can choose what activity they do and what objective they want to master at certain times. They have control over choosing what is interesting to them and determine what objectives they might have already mastered. This way, students are able to learn how to become decisive and self-aware while becoming a leader in their own learning journey.

2. Lead by example

Be an example for your students. Eight to nine hours of the day are spent inside the classroom and students are watching and trusting you, as their educator. Show them how to be leaders, how to make decisions, how to lead by example for their peers, brothers, and sisters. 

3. Collaborative activities

Allowing students to work together automatically enables students to assign themselves roles within the group. Many times one or more students will step up and take the lead role without even realizing it. This allows students to gain confidence within group activities while also understanding the role they tend to be most comfortable in within a group.

4. Encourage risk-taking

Risk-taking is a hard task for even adults to accomplish and manage. Encouraging students to take risks, fail, make mistakes, and learn from them builds up their likelihood to succeed in the future. If students are able to understand that success will not come easy nor the first time they try, usually, they are more willing to make mistakes, take risks, and excel in any environment. 

5. Leadership Workshops

Take some time out of the typical class day to work on student leadership as a whole. Some students are not as willing or excited about taking a leadership role in their everyday lives, but if they are able to practice and gain confidence in a no-judgment zone, then they may be able to gain crucial skills that can help them outside of the classroom. Give students the opportunity to be leaders in the classroom in all sorts of capacities. 

Student leadership is incredibly important for a student’s development, especially when entering the real world. To take ownership of not only tasks that are school or work-related, but in their own lives can help them to meet great amounts of potential in the future.

Listen to the full conversation with Todd Nesloney on our Tackling Tech Podcast!

On this episode of Tackling Tech, Tierra Leustig interviews Todd Nesloney about leadership and his newest book, When Kids Lead. Todd Nesloney is the Director of Culture and Strategic Leadership for the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) and is a former Teacher and Principal. Todd believes everyone has leadership qualities, regardless of age, gender, background, or being an extravert or introvert.

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