Teaching Students to be Community Leaders

Thanks for joining us again for a Coaching in the Classroom / CIC update! November 8 was election day 2011. As it's an "off" year, meaning the president isn't elected, so, sadly, fewer people made the trek to the polls to cast their ballots to elect their leadership. In fact, in our county, some elections were won by one vote! Your voice counts!

When you have the opportunity, please vote in whatever elections are taking place in your communities. This privilege is important in any town, but for rural areas, here's why we feel citizen engagement and knowledge is critical.

We took about 30 students to city hall in Coon Rapids, where we teach every week, to meet with Mayor Keith Dorpinghaus and City Clerk, Jesica Leighty. The students asked some really good questions, had a tour of the building, saw future development plans for the city, and learned about the importance of elections.

The reason this is really, really important for you to model is that we had the students raise their hands and about 20 of them (that's two-thirds of our high-schoolers with whom we work) plan to remain in the area post-graduation. This is a huge opportunity for community leaders and educators to connect with these students and bring them into the life of the community ahead of graduation so they feel WUCA! Welcome, Understood, Comfortable, and Appreciated for their talents, skills, ideas, energy, and enthusiasm!

We are teaching them to run these communities, because in not too long a period of time, these children are going to be sitting on city councils and school boards (in fact, we are working on getting a student seat soon on these two), on church committees, and will be running for mayor. They need to know how the city operates and part of what we do in CIC is to provide them with some learning they can use in the future in these capacities. So please, head out and vote! Take your student with you! If they are 18, get them registered ahead of time and tell them your feelings about candidates, the political climate, your values, and why you take the time to vote. Your student will likely listen and model you.

Please feel free to get in touch with us - education is a team sport! Be involved with your students to help them become healthy, productive, engaged leaders!

 

The “NO DRAMA” Club

School is back in session, workers are back from vacation, and families are getting back into their usual routines. Everything is in place including all the drama that goes along with students and adults.

Is it one of those days where all you hear is someone else’s whine, “Did you hear about what she did?” “Do you know how he made me feel when he said that?” “I can’t believe that they wore that with that outfit!”  "She/he stole my boyfriend/girlfriend!" “I got back at them for spreading that rumor about me!”

Drama, drama, drama! Some can’t get enough, some have had enough.

If you have had it with drama in your life or having people around that need to create drama, here is a great method to get rid of it all.

Whenever you are around a person who wants to create drama, write down one thing every day that you appreciate about that person and tell them what you appreciate about them.

Answer these three questions –

  • What do I value about the person causing the drama?
  • What are their interests, needs, and desires?
  • How can I be more generous toward them?

Regardless of whether or not they deserve it, and regardless of what you might get out of it yourself, write down your answers to the questions and then tell them.

You will be surprised how fast the drama disappears. It will be gone.

You see, people that you appreciate will respond in a positive manner and appreciate you.

When you help others to discover their purpose and passion, they will respond in a very different way toward you. There are two great days in a person’s life:

  • The day a person is born and
  • the day they discover why.

When you help a person do that, you will change their life and they will not want to be in the middle of drama either. Help them go on a bad habit diet and get rid of the “Whine” flu.

When you change the way you look at people, the people that you look at change!

When you are:

  • Welcoming – smile!  A smile will open the door to great relationships.
  • Understanding – listen! When you listen to someone it shows you care.
  • Comfortable - be friendly! You will meet their needs.
  • Appreciative – show gratitude! Be grateful for who they are and your relationship with them.

In other words, to get rid of the drama in your life:

Be WUCA!(c)

A tool to implement 21st-Century Constructs in Iowa: Coaching in the Classroom

Coaching in the Classroom

Implementing  21st Century Iowa Core Curriculum 

Coaching in the Classroom (CIC) is a passion-identifying, goal-setting, workplace and leadership development program best implemented with at-risk students. CIC guides students in creating direction in their life through passion, purpose, vision, and goals.  It also helps students create new businesses and/or transition into buying existing businesses someday in their communities.

Kim and Frank Spillers are weekly in-class coaches for about 80 7th-12th-grade students at Coon Rapids-Bayard High School (CR-B) and about 15 students at the Metro West Learning Academy, an alternative school for 6 Des Moines-area feeder high schools. Unofficially, CR-B has actually implemented the 21st-Century Constructs through CIC.

We ran year 1 of CIC in 2009-2010 at CR-B as a pilot with 7th-12th-graders. Two very encouraging results came that first year:

  • 34% of all the 7th & 8th-graders met or exceeded the grade goals they set for the Spring 2010 semester, plus,
  • 45% of the students on the “at-risk” list Fall 2009 were not on the list Fall 2010.

These results, plus the individual accomplishments of some of the  students, encouraged the CR-B administration and school board to bring us back for the 2010-11 school year, with results still being tabulated. We eagerly and gratefully return this fall for year 3.

CIC at CR-B works with all 7th-12th-graders, but concentrates on those identified “at-risk” by the Iowa Department of Education, as monitored by tardiness to school and classes, low grades on standardized tests, participation in extracurricular activities, and failing grades in 1 or more classes.

Elements taught through Coaching in the Classroom come from more than 23 years of economic development experience in rural areas. Our knowledge stems from being business owners who have hired workers and met payrolls, visiting with business owners, and working at local, state, and federal levels of community development.

Coaching in the Classroom and the Iowa Core Curriculum’s 21st-Century Universal Constructs

Below, you will find a list of the Fall 2010-11 semester topics we've discussed, presented, and around which have enjoyed activities in and out of the classroom.  Coaching in the Classroom includes all six constructs:

  • Critical thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Productivity and Accountability

A partial list of Coaching in the Classroom topics: 

  • Though students don’t always agree, they are told that every single adult in their school building wants them to succeed.
  • Kinesiology – how internal and external language affects you physically.
  • Identifying their passions – what they love to do, what future they can develop to live out their passions, and what goals they need to accomplish to get them there.
  • They discover their personality type to better know who they are, how to get along with others, and how to use this information to succeed in school and relationships.
  • Brain development and how our thoughts lead to actions.
  • 96% of our decisions are subconscious habits. That means only 4 percent of our decisions are made through our actual, conscious thought on any given day. This makes your positive subconscious critical to success.
  • C  + A = R. For every single circumstance in our lives, our Action gives us the Results. If we want a different outcome, we must change our response to an event. Positive responses bring positive outcomes. Our responses are choices that we make.
  • When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Dr. Wayne Dyer
  • The importance of being committed to learn every day of their lives. For them, learning is their job right now, and requires commitment for success in every single class.
  • The importance of legible handwriting and speaking – first impressions matter when you apply for a job of any type.
  • How visualizing a goal can help in your achievement of that goal.
  • Make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
  •  What makes you feel welcome, understood, comfortable, and appreciated? Do you do that for others in your life?
  • How they feel their communities feel about them; creating positive, supportive community.
  • THINK YOU CAN!
  • Encouragement to students to participate, and community leaders to allow / include students at input and decision making levels in town activities.
  • How it feels to many students to have to be the "adult" in their homes because the adults in their lives are not making safe or good choices.
  • Getting out of the “I’m a victim” mentality.
  • Be responsible for your actions.
  • What behaviors are sabotaging your progress? Reflection is hard and uncomfortable.
  • The importance of unity and teamwork to prepare for success and to be good workers.
  • To look on the labels they may have of being ADD/ADHD as strengths they can use and realize these labels won’t matter once out of school and in the workplace.
  • The importance of being punctual, dressed appropriately, when to use technology, how to talk to and with people, and always display respectful attitudes.
  • Recognize change takes time, determination, and may be painful.
  • Peer pressure to make good / poor decisions. “All of us are one poor decision away from ruining ,our life at any given day.”
  • Creative decision making, the steps needed, and who is included in decisions.
  • For what are students grateful? They have very long lists! When you are grateful for what you receive, you’ll likely receive more. Focus + Act = Receive.
  • Question and learn about life and why things happen! Be curious!
  • Be involved in your city, county, state, and national politics. Your voice makes a difference. (Continuous classroom encouragement and field trip to Iowa Capitol.)

We really thank you for taking the time to learn about Coaching in the Classroom. We’d love to visit with you about bring CIC to your school.

Take care and Be WUCA!!!