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Editorial: Leader In Me


Students in the building are wondering if Leader in Me® is actually leading them in the right direction.

Although the school is pouring resources, money and time into Leader In Me®, students aren’t actually benefiting from the 20 minutes dedicated to this course.

Instead of students absorbing the content, they are unwilling to be obliged to the lessons; this is because of the way the curriculum was built. Instead of teaching through content that teens are interested in, they decided to deliver their messages through ridiculous metaphors and complex workbook pages.

Phrases like “EBA System Action Plan,” “Accelerating Credibility” and “Quadrant Reflection” are all module pages taken straight from our daily Leader In Me® books. Now, do these topics sound like they should be placed in any sort of text for middle school students? Of course not! Kids aren’t going to understand what any of this means; they are going to sit there questioning the course instead of actually benefiting from it.

 The phrases and vocabulary throughout the entire course barely appeal to adults, let alone children who are already against the idea of learning. Having kids sit through these boring, and quite frankly overly complicated lectures are doing nothing but discouraging them from even wanting to try to learn the values that the book is trying to instill.

Some may not agree and may have the differing belief that the current curriculum is effectively teaching the information to students. This may be true in some very specific cases, but the overwhelming majority of kids are not benefiting from this existing way. The students that struggle with their core subject classwork aren’t going to be able to understand the Leader in Me® material.

If we want to actually be teaching kids the important content that Leader In Me® holds, it needs to be in a way which resonates with topics kids can understand, and are interested in. This can be done in many ways, first ditching the vocabulary. Simpler words and less metaphors will help students who may struggle with comprehending the ideas that are being conveyed and understand what’s being said. Another way is ditching the books, and using songs, movies or anything in pop culture that align with the values being taught to educate kids.

If the district is set on having Leader In Me®, it is crucial that there are many adjustments made.

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    McKenna KoeckApr 12, 2024 at 11:51 am

    I wish that Leader in Me would work because I think we need more kind and accepting students. Kids are really rude all the time, I see and hear it EVERY day. it’s non-stop. Students will make fun of students who act or dress even the slightest bit unique, kids will make fun of LGBTQ+ or Trans students, they will make fun of people with autism or down syndrome and use the word “Autistic” as a synonym for “stupid”, and kids make racist jokes all the time. The worst part is these students think it’s okay and acceptable to say these things. I see kids doing those things LITERALLY every day. It’s really frustrating to see. Saying those kinds of things is just hateful and close-minded. It’s sad that Leader In Me doesn’t work. Actually, it makes it worse. Kids will mock leader in me and say, “be proactive” or “I’m reporting you to Safe 2 Say” and they will say those things as a joke. Kids don’t take Leader In Me seriously at all. They think it’s cringe and soft and stupid. It’s so sad that so many people think being kind is “cringe”. I’m so dissapointed in the actions of some students in our school and I don’t have much hope that anything will change.