The Transylvania Times -

Everyday Education: Inspiring Greatness, One Child At A Time - Rosman, NC


October 16, 2017

The 2016-17 school year was not just a year for focusing on the planning and delivery of stronger reading, writing and math lessons at Rosman Elementary School, not just a year for making sure the social and emotional needs of our students were being met, but also a year during which our staff focused on a new direction for our school.

This new direction would be a direction that would help our students prepare for the demands of a world very different from the one our staff entered as we became adults. After much research, off campus visits and a lot of staff collaboration, we decided to begin our journey on becoming a “Leader in Me” school.

Being a “Leader in Me” school is what schools around the world are doing to inspire greatness, one child at a time. “The Leader in Me” is not a program, but instead a process. Many of the schools who have adopted this process have done so due to low test scores or behavioral issues. However, neither of these reasons is the reason we have chosen this route.

Our decision was made because we have such confidence in the students of Rosman Elementary and such hope for their futures that we want to make sure we capitalize on our only chance to prepare them for a future that none of us can possibly predict. These five to 11-year-olds have leadership capabilities that just need to be tapped. The leadership we need to transform education in a time when public education does not always receive the recognition it deserves is not outside our school, but instead within it and especially in the children themselves.

After a visit by our entire staff to see a “Leader in Me” school in action, our official journey began. Staff left for summer break with reading in tow. After this reading, we now naturally see so many more opportunities to give children a voice and a hand in our school than ever before.

Daily, we are finding new ways to encourage kids to be the leaders we know they are capable of being. Throughout this school year, we are collaboratively studying the text while incorporating a morning meeting in each classroom.

Students get a chance to talk about what is happening in their lives as well as their hopes and dreams. Through meetings such as these, stronger classroom communities are being built.

We are beginning to focus on seven important habits throughout our building and staff members are beginning to think more about their own beliefs as well. Next summer, we will receive extensive training. Through this in-depth look at ourselves, we will be better prepared to move our children through the seven habits. Once taught, these habits will naturally carry over to homes and communities and eventually to the workforce.

Quoting an elementary student in a “Leader in Me” school, “These seven habits are like vitamins...they can be found in all kinds of places and are needed whether you are aware of it or not. You are healthier, happier, and more successful when the habits are a daily part of your life. “

These habits will help our students prioritize things in their lives, help them to think of others as well as themselves, help them to work together for the good of all, teach them to be proactive, and much more, including how to take care of their own body, heart, mind and spirit.

If you would like to hear more about our journey to become a “Leader in Me” school or to partner with us as we travel through this process over the next couple of years, contact us at RES (862-4431). This is definitely a topic we would love to share with you!

(Crystal Whitman is the instructional coach at Rosman Elementary.)


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