This is such a gold mine of strategy, tools, and the heart and purpose behind teaching leadership and the servant-leadership model. I valued every minute of the time today. I could keep listening, learning, and reflecting!
Dana Kuhn - Selah Intermediate, WA - 13 Years in Education
These servant-leadership workshops always inspire me and renew my energy as the school year quickly approaches. I know that this curriculum and these ideas help transform our students into amazing young people.
Sarah Erdmann - Aviation HS, WA - 13 Years in Education
Being able to teach Character Education to my students has been a career changer. Having an outlet to talk about character to my students has allowed me to relax and feel more confident that I am doing my part to teach my students to be well rounded citizens. All of the science and research shows that if kids do not feel loved or safe, that they will not learn. Knowing that my students have a time in their day to grow as leaders and mini humans has allowed me to focus more on my content area.
Chloe Ruffin - Newport Beach Middle School, OR - 1st Year Leadership Advisor
I am starting my 43rd year as an educator. Thirty of those years I have been an activity director and leadership class teacher at a large high school. My leadership class curriculum has been based mainly on projects and giving back to the school and I’m good at motivating students to do projects.
I didn’t think an “old dog” could learn new tricks until I brought John Norlin to my school to keynote a mid-year leadership summit. I always knew John had a different approach to teaching leadership but I already alluded to “old” and learning new approaches in my twilight years seemed questionable at best. It just so happened that one of my administrators attended John’s keynote and that got the ball rolling. My principal was convinced and brought John back to speak to about half our staff in June, which led to 15 of us attending the CharacterStrong workshop in August, then bringing John back to speak to the entire staff before school started. Meanwhile John had custom designed the CharacterStrong curriculum for our school to be taught in small 5 minute chunks during our extra five minute homeroom time allotment. And me, I was given an entire semester of day to day lessons in character development for my leadership classes.
Needless to say these character lessons have been transformative. I’ve been at this school for 38 years. I’ve never seen the staff this engaged with students and I believe the kids are more engaged with one another. Our mascot is the Bombers. Our students and staff are on the runway engines are revved-up and ready for take-off. It’s going to be an exciting journey.
Jim Qualheim - Richland High School, WA - 43 Years in Education
In 17 years at the middle level, I’ve never seen a more transformative curriculum that meets the whole child right where they’re at. It gives them purpose, value, and it allows them to learn about themselves in a healthy way. They navigate tough social waters as a middle schooler and the curriculum builds skills for students to use in all facets of their life.
Our climate and culture has dramatically improved as more and more students are exposed to the curriculum. Our students are more aware of interpersonal relational issues that may come up and feel empowered to support each other in a positive, healthy way. One side benefit of expanding the curriculum to the majority of our 8th graders is that our suspension rate has gone down over the years.
As an educator, my practice has been transformed. The curriculum not only will inspire and teach your children to improve their relationships, it will improve your relationships with your students, your families, and your friends. You will see that there’s no better way to live your life than that of a servant leader. It will never let you down. Modeling servant leadership in your building will build your influence as an educator and will allow you to make positive change at a systems level.
I was even able to get my very data driven principal to start encouraging our teachers to “serve” our kids. That slight language change has made our staff meetings much more student focused rather than teacher focused.
Sally Rusk - Inglewood Middle School, WA - 7 Year Leadership Advisor