Students take the helm for Eugene Field All Star Leaders Leadership Day

Eugene Field Elementary School students demonstrated leadership skills with skits, songs and activities for the All Star Leadership Day on Wednesday, March 6 in the school auditorium.

A school slideshow shared activities students and faculty members engaged in as a FranklinCovey Leader In Me School, a process that began in the 2011-2012 school year. The students incorporate the Covey Leadership Habits during their studies and in tasks in school and outside of school. School jobs include hallway monitor, postal worker and member of the Pirate Pride Singers, who performed songs before students from each grade level shared their leadership habits. Music teacher Teresa Paszkiet said student jobs in the Pirate Pride Singers group included sound directors, equipment managers, attendance clerks and music managers. Fourth grader Maddie Crume served as student director as her colleagues performed for the audience.

“It's easy to join, but it's hard to keep the job, isn't it?” she said.

“Yes,” the students replied in unison.

Kindergarten: Habit 1 — Be Proactive

Kindergarten students performed a song about the first of the Covey Leadership Habits, being proactive. Several students shared how they planned to make proactive choices, like “clean my room” and “listening.”

First grade: Habit 2 — Begin With the End in Mind

Teacher Carmen Ott demonstrated the difference the value of accomplishing goals before taking time to play. Students inscribed a goal they set for the school year on large rocks. She used a jar to show that with the goals in place first, there is still plenty of room for fun activities. Each student read their goals aloud, including “to get my homework done everyday,” “get better at wrestling,” “get better at tying my shoe” and “get better at not playing my Xbox.”

Second grade: Habit 3 — Put First Things First

Second graders told audience members about why it is essential to focus on necessary tasks first.

“Putting first things first is hard,” said one student.

“Because it's always easier to do the easiest things first,” answered a classmate.

Students shared what's most important when they set their priorities: “that means I say no to things I shouldn't do,” “I set priorities and make a schedule and follow a plan” and “I am disciplined and organized.”

Third grade: Habit 4 — Think Win-Win

Members of the third grade class performed a skit showing how to resolve arguments in the classroom with “thinking win-win” in mind. Allie Christal said it felt “pretty awesome” to play the role of the teacher helping find solutions to solve disagreements. After the teacher and students discovered solutions with each person in mind — such as taking turns and seeking help from others — the results reflected what Habit Four is all about.

Fourth grade: Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Fourth grade students shared in videos how they worked in two-person teams for a Landmark project. They used clues and their decision-making skills to understand what landmark the information described, including multiple meanings for words and eliminating options that didn't fit all the clues. Each team member shared how they were successful because they kept the fifth habit in mind during their research.

Fifth grade: Habit 6 — Synergize

Fifth grade students received help from fourth grade students to engage audience members interactive tasks with colored blocks. Some participants had to decipher the project alone, and others received help with the activity. The students graded their progress, and the youth and adults agreed that a project is more successful when people are working together and reflecting the “synergize” habit.

Student Lighthouse Team: Habit 7 — Sharpen the Saw — and Habit 8 — Find Your Voice

Students participated in a skit where a classmate was having difficulty understanding math and science. A fellow student recommended that he ask the teacher for help, and he received specialized tutoring that helped boost his confidence. After 20 years, the student had graduated from high school and college and was working in a good career — finding their voice after the efforts to sharpen the saw.

The students were excited to share what being a leader was all about. Third grader Allie Christal said she enjoyed the inspirational cheers from the Eugene Field Leadership Squad. Fourth grader Parker Christensen recalled his favorite part of the day.

“I'd say my favorite part of the day was the song, “This Little Light of Mine,” he said. “I don't know why, but I seem to love country songs and lights.”

Fellow fourth grade student Dylin Ivey said the experience was a special opportunity for him to share knowledge with guests. He said he was nervous at first, but he gained confidence and hoped that everyone learned the importance of Habit 5: “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” Fellow fourth grader Ayden Barker agreed.

“It feels good to be able to get on the stage and get to share with the people what the habit means,” said he said.