Character Education: Teaching Leadership

The Wautoma Area School District is celebrating the character trait, LEADERSHIP. A leader motivates and guides others toward a common goal. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of our nation’s most influential leaders and through his example we can teach our children to become positive leaders of our community.

Dr. King had strong communication skills. His famous “I Have a Dream” speech inspired and motivated others to stand up to the injustice of segregation and inequality. Public speaking can be difficult, so having children participate in class discussions and take on the leadership role in small groups will be beneficial. Practicing listening skills in all situations is also vital because communication is a two-way street.

Dr. King was courageous. He willingly risked his life in the fight for Civil Rights. Instead of sitting idly by and allowing a bully to hurt others, a leader can discourage the bully from continuing their harmful behavior or even report that bully to an adult. Our children can also show courage by taking risks and offering new ideas to a group even if those ideas seem outside of the box.

Finally, Dr. King was a problem solver. Although there was a lot of opposition, King facilitated nonviolent demonstrations across the country in the fight for equality. Every obstacle was met with another solution in the quest for equal rights. Children can develop problem solving skills by role playing different scenarios. Brainstorming a variety of solutions and evaluating each solution will help students understand the process of solving problems.

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