What is leadership? If you asked ten people, you would probably get different answers. At ALF, we believe that leadership is the ability to make a positive and effective change to the school, workplace, community, or even wider circles.
At ALF, we very much believe that developing leadership skills in our students is as important as the academic subject matter that they are learning. Because of this, we devote two hours every Friday to developing particular leadership skills. When we first started our leadership classes last year, we devoted many hours to teaching individual qualities and skills, such as problem-solving, confidence, excellence, teamwork, etc. Teaching these were fun and the students seemed to be learning what these qualities and skills mean, but just because they were learning them doesn’t mean that they were able to exhibit them. At the end of our first year, we realized that the way we teach leadership would have to change so that our classes would be more effective.
This year, we are having our students do a leadership project where they will demonstrate and apply leadership skills and qualities to different situations.
Our first project that the 10th standard students are working on is solving logistical problems that we have encountered at ALF. The first thing we did was have our entire 10th standard students brainstorm about different issues that can be improved at ALF. We narrowed down the list to five major issues and the students chose which issue that they would like to create a solution to. Once in their groups, the students had to create a solution, implement it, and identify ways to measure the effectiveness of the solution. After all of this, the 10th standard students presented to the 9th standard students the problem and how we as an ALF community will try to solve it.
Some of the issues that we had were things like too many girls in the bathroom at the same time during breaks, girls not coming up the stairs in an orderly way, too much waiting outside to get ID badges, etc… Granted, these weren’t earth shattering issues, but they were still disruptive to ALF in minor ways.
This was a positive but very stressful experience for our 10th standard girls. None of them had ever taken leadership in a situation where they had to identify the problem, work in groups to find a solution, decide how to implement the solution, present their solution to the community as a whole, and measure the success of the solution. It was amazing to see the joy and excitement on their faces after presenting to the whole of ALF. They had just realized the fulfillment of being an effective leader!
Ultimately as an organization, Avasara is committed to developing the leadership skills in girls that will then make a positive change in their community. Projects like the one that our 10th standard girls are currently doing will make this vision into a reality!