The ability to work in a team is touted by teachers, employers and coaches as an indispensable skill. Alone, people can accomplish great things but when people work as a team the potential for success skyrockets. Students know this in theory but when it comes to accepting the reality of working with others who have different styles and motivations, all of a sudden teamwork feels like a heavy burden.
We experience life with other people. This is true in our families, schools and workplaces. We are taught the importance of being individuals and being responsible for our own actions, yet many of our life experiences involve others and our successes and failures are determined by how well we are able to work with other people.
Students understand the dynamics of leadership firsthand, both from the perspective of being a follower of their teachers and being role models for their peers. They have strong opinions about how leaders should behave and what ethical responsibilities they should have to others. It’s important to give students space to reflect upon the qualities of good leadership.