Creating Leaders

The many ways to lead

When we think about “leadership,” we often picture a person standing on a podium, telling others what to do or how to think. This model suggests the podium leader is the only kind of real leader. Most egregiously, this way of thinking excludes talented and inspired students from stepping forward and thinking of themselves and acting as leaders.

A key ingredient to Aurora’s social and emotional education program are the many ways we define leadership: it is everything from a student being courageous, an active ally, persistent, a problem solver, a role model, an encouraging voice, a listener, or rolling up his sleeves. Often, leadership skills are subtle, and we encourage that here at Aurora. Most times, it is our students’ smaller, subtler actions that define them as leaders of the school and that benefit our community as a whole. Here’s an example of what we mean…

Read SOUND IT OUT about a 1st grade speller who empowered his kindergarten classmate to find her own answers.

Because students need to be able to bring their true selves to school

We model the embrace

Many children find it challenging to be their authentic selves at school. Something happens when children are around their peers that prompts conformity. School-aged students need to feel supported and accepted for who they are in an open-minded environment in order to do their best learning.