“I got started with Leader in Me when our principal at the time started the program,” said Ms. Baldwin. “She came to me and asked if I’d be willing to be head of the program. I hesitated at first because I have not really ever seen myself as a leader, but I realized that she saw something in me and that gave me the confidence to say yes to being the coordinator.”
The Leader in Me program includes seven habits:
- Be proactive.
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Put first things first.
- Think win-win.
- Seek to first understand, then to be understood.
- Sharpen the saw.
“It helps students be leaders in the sense of showing them that change doesn’t have to happen when teachers or admin says it does,” said Ms. Baldwin. “It starts with them and helps to notice that each and every one of them has genius inside of them, and we want to help them find that potential. It helps them find what is important to them and to not give up on it.”
This program has helped her realize she’s passionate about leadership with students, because kids have so much energy and are able to do so much. She believes it starts at a young age, and if she can help foster the idea of leadership, students can be the best people they can be. She shared that she learns from her students every day, and their potential astounds her.
“Leadership helps them find their voice that they may not have known that they had,” said Ms. Baldwin. “It helps them focus on their work, but also on things at home or outside of school. It allows them to explore new opportunities that they may not have realized were open to them. I have had students join different groups this year that they may not have done previously because they had more confidence in their lives since they have started the Leader in Me program.”
She loves being her students’ cheerleader because her students are more than students.
“They are a person that deserves to be supported and shown love and kindness, rather than just being taught the content,” said Ms. Baldwin. “That is a huge part, but I also feel like it is our job as teachers to nurture the whole child. I also know that some kids do amazing with their extra-curricular activities while their grades or work at school might be average. I want to support them at whatever they are passionate about. I want them to know that they mean the world to me even outside the classroom.”
Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Baldwin!
Landmark Academy at Reunion, a school in Commerce City, Colorado, is a partner school in the National Heritage Academies network of over 90 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.