Ideas for Student Leadership in the classroom

I have been thinking about ‘Line Leaders’ and the importance young kids put on that routine. They really feel proud of their leadership in those moments. What are the more grown-up versions of the line leaders?

There is a real opportunity to work leading into the routines in our middle grades. Part of it gets back to the blog post from last night – the desire to stand out or at all improve yourself will change throughout middle school.

But I still think there is an opportunity here – routines that build that muscle and give students experiences that build that positive narrative inside. So I generated a few lists to help brainstorm how this might work in Innovative Arts class. These sure get the creative juices flowing! The next quarter starts in two days, I better get busy.

Here are the raw, starting point ideas:

There are many ways to provide students with leadership opportunities in the classroom. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Student-led discussions: Allow students to take turns leading class discussions on a topic of their choice. This allows students to practice public speaking and facilitation skills.
  2. Group projects: Assign students to work in small groups on a project. Have each group elect a leader to oversee the project and delegate tasks.
  3. Class officer positions: Establish class officer positions such as president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Hold elections and allow students to run for office and serve in these positions.
  4. Peer mentoring: Have older students mentor younger students and serve as role models.
  5. Service learning: Encourage students to take leadership roles in community service projects.
  6. Class committees: Set up committees such as a school spirit committee, a recycling committee, or a community outreach committee. Allow students to take leadership roles in these committees.
  7. Debate teams: Create a debate team and allow students to take leadership roles as team leaders and debate captains.
  8. Student-led conferences: Allow students to present their work and lead conferences for their peers and parents.
  9. Student-led clubs: Encourage students to start and lead clubs based on their interests and passions.
  10. Student-led workshops: Allow students to lead workshops or trainings on topics they are passionate about.

Here are a few ideas for more light-hearted leadership opportunities in a middle school classroom:

  1. Classroom DJ: Have students take turns being the “classroom DJ,” responsible for choosing and playing music during class transitions or breaks.
  2. Classroom weather reporter: Have students take turns giving a weather report for the day, complete with a weather forecast and fun facts about the weather.
  3. Classroom game leader: Have students take turns leading the class in a fun game or activity during breaks or after class.
  4. Classroom news anchor: Have students take turns giving a news report on current events or interesting news stories.
  5. Classroom event planner: Have students take turns planning and executing a fun event for the class, such as a holiday party or a class talent show.
  6. Classroom social media manager: Have students take turns managing the class’s social media account, posting updates and announcements.
  7. Classroom costume designer: Have students take turns creating and coordinating costumes for special events such as spirit day or theme days
  8. Classroom decorator: Have students take turns decorating the classroom for different holidays or events.
  9. Classroom comedian: Have students take turns telling jokes or performing stand-up comedy for the class.
  10. Classroom magician: Have students take turns performing magic tricks for the class.

Here are a few ideas for student-led opportunities that involve the local community:

  1. Community service projects: Have students research and plan a community service project, such as a neighborhood clean-up or a food drive. Students can take leadership roles in organizing and implementing the project.
  2. Interview local leaders: Have students interview local leaders such as elected officials, business owners, or community activists. Students can take leadership roles in researching and conducting the interviews.
  3. Partner with local organizations: Connect students with local organizations such as non-profits or community groups. Students can take leadership roles in working with these organizations to plan and implement projects or events.
  4. Community survey: Have students conduct a survey of the community to gather feedback and ideas on local issues. Students can take leadership roles in designing the survey, analyzing the data and presenting the results to the community.
  5. Volunteer coordination: Have students coordinate volunteer opportunities for the class or school. Students can take leadership roles in recruiting volunteers, scheduling shifts, and managing the volunteer program.
  6. Community garden: Have students start a community garden and take leadership roles in planning, planting, and maintaining the garden.
  7. Community art project: Have students plan and execute a community art project such as a mural or sculpture.
  8. Tutoring program: Have students start a tutoring program for local children and take leadership roles in recruiting tutors and managing the program.
  9. Local history project: Have students research and document local history and take leadership roles in creating a presentation or exhibit to share with the community.
  10. Social media campaign: Have students start a social media campaign to raise awareness about a local issue and take leadership roles in creating content, managing the social media accounts and tracking the results.

Here are a few ideas for student-led opportunities that involve the international community:

  1. Global pen pals: Have students establish pen pal relationships with students from other countries. Students can take leadership roles in coordinating the program and communicating with their pen pals.
  2. International service-learning trip: Have students plan and participate in an international service-learning trip. Students can take leadership roles in researching and planning the trip, and in coordinating service projects.
  3. International exchange program: Have students participate in an international exchange program. Students can take leadership roles in hosting international students and planning cultural activities.
  4. International research project: Have students conduct research on a global issue and present their findings to the class or school.
  5. International video conference: Have students participate in an international video conference with students from other countries. Students can take leadership roles in organizing and moderating the conference.
  6. International charity fundraising: Have students plan and execute a charity fundraiser to support an international cause.
  7. International language program: Have students start an international language program and take leadership roles in recruiting participants, organizing classes and acting as language tutors.
  8. International cuisine: Have students plan and execute a cultural event to showcase international cuisine and customs.
  9. International book club: Have students start an international book club, where they read and discuss literature from around the world.
  10. International Model UN: Have students participate in an international Model UN simulation and take leadership roles as delegates representing different countries and negotiating solutions to global issues.

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