Teachers, mentors, and parents cannot discount the importance of preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders. Preparation can take many forms, but it should always include praise, creativity, and the encouragement of the student’s active participation. This article will present a few methods of preparing students to become effective, articulate, and intelligent leaders.
Using Literary Education
Teaching students to learn from history is an important part of ensuring that they are prepared to become leaders. After all, leaders should learn from the mistakes and accomplishments of past leaders. However, just reading a book, article, or study isn’t enough. Mentors and teachers should encourage students to discuss the myriad causes and effects of a certain decision or event, and how that decision or event impacted groups of people. In this way, students can learn that, as leaders, it is necessary for them to consider their constituents’ opinions.
While students should be able to choose which books or articles they should read, teachers should also provide them with a list of books and suggested authors that are considered “classics.” Then, the teachers should encourage their students to look for other authors who have different viewpoints. Students who want to be leaders will need to consider other leaders’ differing opinions.
Active Participation in Community
Future leaders must have a positive presence in their surrounding communities. Whether the student lives in a rural, suburban, or urban environment, he or she has many opportunities to contribute to his or her community. Mentors, teachers, and even parents should encourage or provide the student with suggestions on how to participate within his or her community. Doing so not only enhances the student’s resume but also his or her skills and character: the student will learn how to communicate with adults, especially those of authority, and the student will also learn leadership and organization skills.
The other point to consider is that future leaders must show commitment to one or two projects. Students should find an activity or organization that they are passionate about, and then stick with that organization. It shows commitment and a sense of duty, and they can become increasingly experienced with one or two fields of study.
Communication, Written, and Oral Skills
Students who want to be leaders must learn a very valuable skill: communicating effectively and efficiently. This skill is expressed in written and oral communication. Good leaders will know how to speak with their constituents and other authoritative figures. They will know how to write and speak appropriately. They can write their own speeches and discuss issues with other policymakers.
Teachers and mentors should encourage the development of this skill early on in the student’s educational career. For example, speech or debate classes can be good for students who need to improve upon their conversational skills. Some students are not articulate but they have very good ideas, and they could be candidates for speech/debate classes.
Essentially, the making of tomorrow’s leaders is a long process that involves the participation of teachers and mentor figures. However, it is also important for the students of today to desire to become good leaders by developing their sense of compassion for others, their communication skills, and their ability to handle many different pressures and stresses at once. By preparing students in a multitude of ways, teachers and mentors can help them become future leaders.