Sept. 2019 -Arkan walked into his first day of classes in the Leadership room, put his arms in the air, and said “I’m home!”

Jan. 2020 – Arkan comes into class, sees the “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” books ready to be signed and says “Oh no, it means the end of Leadership is close.” Later in the class I hear him saying to some other Gr. 12s “It will be a sad day when we are riding the bus home from ASLC (the Alberta Student Leadership Conference) next May because it will be the last Leadership event we do at Centennial.”

I wanted to do the dance of joy when I heard Arkan both in September and January. I believe that every student needs to find their tribe at school, to have a meaningful connection with adults and students in the building. We work hard to create that environment in our Student Leadership program. I felt like I had won a big hero cookie when I heard Arkan say he was home.

Here is a brief list of some of the things we do create a feeling the students are “at home” in our program:

  • Gr. 12 Leadership grad each semester -lunchtime celebration, power point highlighting their 3 years, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” book signed by everyone, and Dilly Bars
  • day retreats at the beginning of each semester
  • pictures and other mementos from past events and activities displayed in your classroom or meeting place
  • short team building activities throughout the semester, not just at the beginning
  • highlights of student leader successes

Some of you will have new classes and others will have classes or councils that carry on from September. My challenge to you is to build on or keep doing those things that will make your students feel their are home in your Student Leadership program.

Leadership Lesson Idea

Susan Cain’s book about the power of introverts helped me rethink what makes an ideal leader. I encourage you to read it. I showed my student’s Susan Cain’s TED talk ( ) on the subject and then led them through a lesson. There was group and individual brainstorming. Students kept refering to the ideas of introverts and extroverts the rest of the semester. You can download the lesson materials here:!Ah1BegozVtqBxnRJT5lgPkwHR8jD?e=mdV8P0

In Calgary this week at the zoo they would not allow the penguins outside because it is so cold. That is cold. Stay warm wherever you are!

Interested in having me speak at your school, workshop, or conference? 

Click here to view presentations I have to offer.

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