Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Leadership Part One

I’ve talked about PBIS in one of my prior blogs, but I really want to show the impact that leadership roles can leave on a student’s life. Although most leadership opportunities are extracurricular, which shouldn’t usually affect a teacher’s life or interactions with the student, for the student, it makes all the difference.

PBIS, if you don’t know yet, stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. To simplify that, it involves encouraging a student’s positive behavior, usually by integrating clubs and organizations dedicated to support and the deterrence of negative behaviors. For my school specifically, they have integrated multiple student-led programs, each dedicated to a problematic area in our school. For us, the main idea is to put many students in charge and as a result, deter them from the negative behaviors they’re discouraging, supporting their path to becoming a better student, and giving them opportunities to better themselves as a leader.

Personally, I was directed into the Student Advisory Planning Team, who create quick lessons for Advisory, a brief thirty-minute period in between our first and second blocks, used to get everyone on the same page and pass out forms. Despite that it’s not an extremely widespread or notorious program, I was still excited to be in it, as it was my first leadership opportunity. Keep in mind that I’ve barely been a bowtieboy for a month and have barely done any work in the name of it. However, it was still recommended to me that I show up for one of their meetings. I came in early that morning and planned lessons for over one thousand students. The group also gave me an invitation to present to administrators, teachers, and principals at the educational headquarters of the county.

Although it was a generally casual presentation, unscripted but practiced, it sparked a huge change in my life. I ended up giving that presentation many times at school faculty meetings to vice principal meetings. Because I presented for all of my teachers, they have started to see me in a different light. Some teachers, even some I don’t have, have talked to me, and raved about my presenting. Some have even asked me for input on their teaching-related problems. All of that feedback just empowered me. I became so much more confident and have projected myself in a different light at times.

It’s shocking to me the shift in my life from eighth to ninth grade. I wasn’t a specifically busy kid in eighth grade; I just went home, did my homework, relaxed, and got good grades. The shocking thing to me is that that was exactly how I was coming into ninth grade, I had the same habits and the same calm, social personality. With the addition of cross country and track, I was the same person. But with track and leadership experiences, I don’t have much free time, which has made me a better student in a way, as I have less time to procrastinate and therefore, have better time management skills. 

But that’s the point. It only takes one leadership opportunity to change a student for the better. That’s also what I interpret PBIS to be about. It’s putting students in leadership positions to empower them and solve problems. The other great thing about leadership opportunities is that they multiply. Once the people around me noticed what I’ve been doing, all of a sudden, I seem like a great candidate for more leadership chances. And I’m not complaining at all. It’s just more to better myself and my resume.


  1. I was really inspired by your description of how this leadership role impacted YOU Spencer. Anything that can spark change in a students life and give them added confidence is well worth the effort. Great post (but wish I could have heard your presentation!)

  2. Coincidentally, I'm presenting again tomorrow with the original group. Kinda funny. Thanks for all your support!