Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Student Leadership Experience - Conference Grant Recipient Reflection by Maya Leszkowski

Student Leadership Experience
Submitted by: 2019 Student Leadership Conference Grant Recipient: Maya Leszkowski

As a becoming teacher, leadership is an unspoken characteristic that is
necessary to be a great educator. My first through when I hear the word “leadership” is
a person who is in charge, takes control of a room and is a natural at being a leader.
Upon attending the SLE, I never thought of myself as a leader. Although my profession
requires a certain degree of leadership to lead a classroom, however; I didn’t think of
myself as a leader as I usually keep to myself and don't find myself often leading a
group of people that are not children within a classroom. During this experience each
group had to come up with a group name that was related to their group colour. My
colour was blue, the name we came up with was “blue wave” with a slogan, “creating
ripples”. Our reasoning behind being a blue wave and the slogan relating to creating
ripples was because of what our group believed leadership is. The definition of
leadership to us was the ability to have an affect on others and share these abilities of
kindness, humbleness, being able to listen and think critically.

At the SLE, I learnt that I in fact am a leader. I discovered that leaders are not
only people who can naturally take control of a group of people or a situation. A leader
is someone who can listen, provide advice or opinions and most of all grow as an
individual. At the SLE I took part in activities that were outside of my comfort zone.
Activities such as canoeing blindfolded, rafting up to twelve canoes together in the
water, doing a high ropes course and working with a group of strangers on trust building
activities.Many of the activities that we took part in were focused around health and
physical education and were held outside. Being outside and getting active played a
role in my ability to reflect and keep an open mind. With the activities we did and time
we took to reflect I was able to disconnect from my everyday life as a student and focus
on how to better myself and be able to reflect on the experiences I was having.

Through these activities and many more I was able to discover the activities that
are needed to be a good leader. Including the realization of my strengths as a leader
and how I can use my strengths in my future career. As a future teacher I would like to
help students realize their potential as individuals. After attending the SLE I myself was
able to gain confidence in myself. I would like to be able to give students the same
experience within my classroom, to gain confidence in themselves and to recognize
their strengths and use those to become a leader.