Last week I was shopping at Superstore.  I of course had the typical leadership advisor shopping list, ring pops and Dad’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  You know the ones that come two per packet in a big box.  They make for great prizes and appreciation gifts with my Leadership crew.  I of course threw in a case of Diet Dr. Pepper, my wife’s favorite.  As I was waiting to pack the groceries, I got a tap on the shoulder. 

“Do you remember me Mr. Dickson?” 

I turned around to see one of my former students.  Class of 2016, a two-time member of Link Crew, a great kid.  What is the first thing he asks? 

“Are you still doing Link Crew?”  “Why yes I am, still good clean fun for everyone 😊.” 

He then proceeds to tell me some of his best Link Crew memories.  Who his partner was, the costumes they chose to wear.  He still remembers the words to the Humpty Dump cheer …” Little miss muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey, along came a spider, sat down beside her, and he said Oooh Ain’t That Funky Now!!!”  This cheer is only brought out once a year for Link Crew – no requests accepted any other time. Most importantly he told me how much he enjoyed helping the Gr. 10s new to Centennial. 

I ask for his life report, what is going on with you now.  He is at U of Calgary studying engineering and planning on applying to Med School when he graduates. But here is what really impressed me.  For the past two years he is a volunteer at U of C welcoming new students to the campus, just like Link Crew. As a bonus his Mom was with my former student so I got to brag about him to her.

When you are asking yourself “Why am I doing all of this at my school?” remember that you never know the impact you can have on a student or the influence you may have on their choices in the future as they pay it forward. 

What is Link Crew you may ask? It is a formal program designed to welcome your new Gr. 9 or 10 students on the first day to your school.  You train your senior students beforehand for a great day.  It changed the culture of my school and is among the best professional development I have participated in.  Go to this link or contact me for more information.

Leadership Lesson Idea 

This lesson idea comes from Kate Malayko, a new Leadership Advisor star at Crescent Heights HS in Calgary.  Hopefully you will get the chance to meet her at an upcoming Horizons, ASLC, or CSLC conference. 

“Just thought I would share this activity with you…I used it today as one of my mini-leadership learning activities before students worked on their project.” 

 “I used this website: which shows a series of 4 images, and the question asked to students is “which one doesn’t belong?”. We went through a few of these together as a class, and I observed behaviors, tendencies, comments, etc made by students, and then had a follow up discussion.” 

 “The discussion stems around the fact that there is not one right answer, just like when working with and collaborating with groups, there are multiple perspectives and angles to approach things. After we highlighted the importance of activity listening to the perspectives of others, vs just assuming our idea is the best and only idea. We also talked about how to clearly annunciate our thoughts and visions so that it makes it easier for others to understand. Some students even brought up the fact that there is a time and place when planning and leading an activity where it is OK to have multiple right answers, and other times where it is note (mostly those that revolved around safety, security, and rules).” 

It worked great in my class.  For more from Kate check out her Twitter feed @kmalayko 

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

Click here to view presentations I have to offer.

2 thoughts on “Superstore Surprise – an unexpected boost – Ring Pops and a Link Crew moment

  1. Awesome, you’re doing great work Brent! Thanks for sharing your story, really needed that warm fuzzy reminder of the impact we have on students.
    Love the “Which one doesn’t belong?” Mini lesson.

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