At IES Länna, we have a strong focus on values. We're also very focused on leadership, especially this academic year where our mantra has been "Be a Leader." And in September 2019, we found a way to combine both.
Our Junior Leadership Program was launched in mid-September with our first Junior Leaders being from Year 5. One student was chosen from each class to be "Junior Leader" for a day. Throughout the morning, students completed tasks around the school, including cleaning, picking up trash on the schoolyard, assisting with administrative tasks, helping teachers and making the school environment in general a more positive and pleasant place to be. In the afternoon, Junior Leaders each took charge of a Year 4 classroom and acted as a "mentor," assisting the teacher (especially with Swedish language support) and helping students who needed an extra set of hands or a question answered. In order to Junior Leader, Year 5 students needed to exhibit our four core values: respect, safety, hard work and honesty.
The spring term has been Year 4's turn to "Be a Leader" as they have been guided into the program by last term's Junior Leaders in Year 5. We don't believe leadership should have an age requirement. Some of our most positive and influential leaders have come from our youngest year groups!
As we reflect on the Junior Leadership Program, we can clearly see our four core values in action:
Respect: Students must show each other respect as they work with teammates they don't necessarily know well. Since the students come from three different classes, they must get to know each other quickly in order to work as a team throughout the morning. Junior Leaders also learn to respect their environment even more as they improve the physcial space we occupy each day and notice how we can influence that as individuals, whether we are Junior Leaders that day or not.
Safety: Junior Leaders find unsafe and potentially dangerous things around the school and schoolyard and report directly to administration so no one is hurt.
Hard Work: Junior Leaders need to work hard and manage their time wisely as they are given tasks and a time frame in which to complete them.
Honesty: Since they are working around the school as a team and are not with their supervisor at all times, Junior Leaders must be honest about the work they are completing and what they are doing even if no one is specifically watching them at every moment.
We are so proud of our Junior Leaders and the difference they have made, not only in the day during which they are Junior Leaders but every day they embody these values in our school and community. You truly lead by example!