We all want what is best for our children and we search long and hard to make the right choice when it comes to our children’s education. Without a doubt academics are important, but are we placing too much importance on them to the neglect of other invaluable skills? We stress out over test scores, school ratings, and academic “rigor”, but we may be missing the boat. Are we churning out stressed out students with high test scores who have no idea how to succeed in the real world? Writer Paul Tough addressed this question in his interesting article “Opting Out of the Rug Rat Race” http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443819404577635352783638934
Paul Tough notes, “What matters most in a child’s development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years of life. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us often think of them as character.”
If you are interested in a longer read on this topic click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Longfellow Elementary instituted the Leader in Me Program, based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, http://www.theleaderinme.org at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year to bring this aspect of character development and skills for the real world to the school. This year they are on their way to becoming a lighthouse school for the program. Longfellow still places a strong emphasis on academics and high quality instruction. The Leader in Me enhances academic performance while at the same time transforming the culture at Longfellow. Students are taking ownership of their work. They are excited about learning. In stepping into leadership roles, students are taking initiative, thinking creatively and learning how to communicate and be part of a team. These students are confident. You can see it the way they look you in the eye, shake your hand and proudly show you what they are learning. Longfellow Elementary wants to you to come and see the school and the program for yourself. The school will be hosting Leadership Days throughout the year where parents and the community have the opportunity to visit the school and see these changes in person.
On Longfellow’s last Leadership Day on February 6th, about 50 parents, family and community members came to Longfellow and left excited about how The Leader in Me has helped the school and its students.
Read some quotes about Leadership Day from parents and the community below:
“It is so enjoyable to see how many confident, intelligent and sophisticated students Longfellow has within its classrooms! This Leadership Day was a wonderful way to celebrate these children and teachers for their hard work.”
“Longfellow is a great school and the neighborhood should invest their time and children here.”
“Longfellow is doing a great job in building our future leaders!”
“I loved seeing the student led school and classroom tours. It was impressive to watch the students engage with the visitors, and talk about Covey’s 7 Habits. Several 4th and 5th graders also explained to me how going to Longfellow has changed them. Longfellow has a lot to offer…I recommend Longfellow to my friends and neighbors.”
Longfellow Elementary is located at 3617 Norris,Houston, TX 77025 nestled in the Braeswood neighborhood. It is a Creative and Performing Arts Magnet School with a Neighborhood Vanguard Program. For more information, please visit www.longfellowhisd.com.
Longfellow’s next Leadership Day will be Wednesday, March 12th. To sign up for the event, please visit the school’s website. Longfellow’s Kinder Round Up will be on Friday, April 11th at 9:30am. There will also be a play date for incoming neighborhood Longfellow students hosted by current students. For more information about date and location please email firstname.lastname@example.org