This year, Travis Elementary School is continuing an initiative that will help students develop their leadership skills for future success.
The campus will continue with the Leader in Me initiative, which is a school-wide model that focuses on an environment of student empowerment through the development of leadership skills.
“Leader in Me has taught me to be a better leader,” said Sydni Todd, fourth grade student at Travis. “You learn how to become a better person, too. All students should do it.”
The approach involves teaching students seven habits that will assist them in becoming better leaders and individuals, said Travis Principal Tiffany Salinas. Those habits include, being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand, then to be understood, synergizing and sharpening the saw.
Along with emphasizing the importance of leadership, the model also helps each student reveal his or her full potential.
“The incorporation of The Leader in Me at Travis Elementary has positively impacted our entire school community,” said Salinas. “The timeless values and principles contained in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by Dr. Stephen Covey, are taught to all grade levels throughout the entire school year.”
Students as young as four begin learning the seven habits, which allow them to begin to learn how to take charge of their own lives, said Salinas. Travis kindergarten teacher Monica Torres understands the importance of teaching the habits early on. In fact, the habits are quickly incorporated into lessons as soon as school starts.
“I believe these habits help make up a solid foundation,” said Torres. “If you start right off the bat, that foundation will help build character and help build responsibility as the years go on.”
The seven habits are incorporated into class lessons whenever possible. Whether it’s math, language arts, science or social studies, the seven habits can almost always be incorporated in some way or another, said Salinas.
It’s not only helping their leadership skills but their academic performance, said Noah Peters, fourth grade student at Travis. He says that by learning how to put first things first he understands the importance of doing his homework.
“It helps me get good grades,” said Peters. “When I turn in my homework, I’m being proactive. When you turn in your homework, you get better grades.”
Students aren’t the only ones getting in on the fun. The campus, along with its students, aim to share the message with parents so they are informed about the daily activities related to building character.
The campus will host a seven habits night on Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. for parents to stop by and hear about the activities the campus is doing to emphasize leadership. Two more events will be held throughout the year to update parents on their progress. The dates are scheduled for Feb. 11 and April 8.
This is the second year the campus has participated in the approach, and is one of the first to adopt initiative. With its success, administrators are optimistic that it will continue to have a positive impact on the campus.