What would be possible if our school was filled with students who were responsible, who showed initiative, who were creative, who knew how to set goals and meet them, who got along with people of various backgrounds and cultures, and who could resolve conflicts and solve problems?
This is reality at schools across the country. It started in 1999 when struggling school A.B. Combs Elementary was asked to reinvent itself or be shut down. When principal, Muriel Summers, asked parents and business leaders what they wanted in their schools, she heard the following:
The Leader in Me is not an event and it's not a curriculum, it's ubiquitous leadership development—meaning everywhere and all the time. Instead of "teaching leadership every Tuesday at 1 p.m.," educators use an integrated approach and make leadership training part of everything they do. So the model impacts everything—the traditions, events, organization, culture, instructional methodologies, and curriculum of the school. But as teachers will tell you, "It's not doing one more thing; it's doing what you're already doing in a better way."