Building Strong Student Organizations Day6: Advise Don’t Lead

After stressing and stressing over a few events I knew something had to change. I knew I had to adjust what I was doing or I was going to go crazy. That is when it occurrimg_0980ed to me. My job as student council adviser was to advise. Advise, not to be the sole leader.

I had to train and grow the leaders. Why? They were used to people doing it for them. They were used to leaders that were simply bossy but didn’t work. I had to teach them the balance of contributing, soliciting help, and guiding those helping them. This was far beyond the barking of orders and doing everything themselves that initially existed.

Once I did that, watch out. Things got amazing. I was shocked to find that once students knew they could lean on me, that I’d help them with ideas, and that they could still execute them things began to take off.

The first idea to come to fruition was pumpkin bowl. There will be more posts on that later as it is coming up in a few weeks!

The second large idea was the color run. I’ve got to give these three credit. They did a ton of work two years bringing together over 176 participants and raising well over $2000 for our local food pantry. They did the work. More importantly, they made the adjustments. After year 1 they reflected on what went well and what needed to change. This year they looked at that feedback and executed the changes. Needless to say it was awesome. We all learned something. I have a new found respect for those that make balloon arches!

As  sit here and look back on the previous year I see so many places where students took initiative to make things better. The biggest thing this has made me wonder is how do I ensure that every student graduating from our school has this experience at least once during their high school years? Isn’t that what we are supposed to teach them to do? Aren’t those the valuable skills all students need to learn?

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