“Learning to be a leader and not a boss” – Student reflects on 2020 Skills

We started the Science 12 semester talking about what they wanted to learn and it included many 2020 skills. I designed a class to specifically, deliberately practice these skills while they also learned the role of science in society. At the end of the semester, students reflected on their growth. This student gave me permission to post his response.

People Management:

So, I had a lot of chances to improve on this skill. An example of this was the World Hunger assignment. I’m sure you can remember or go look at my self-reflection for that, but long story short, I tried to manage people. Keeping people on track and such was what I largely tried to do and I felt that I did a good job at that.

For the project, I was in a leadership position without asking for it. I was voluntold or just voted to be group leader. I remember a moment where Sally came up to me and asked me a question, where I answered “Why are you asking me?” and she responded with “You are the group leader”. This was interesting because until that moment I had no idea that that was a role I had. I learned about people management and how to be a better leader. I suddenly had 7 people I had to lead and they were looking at me for help.

Now, I think a great place I learned in this process was learning to be a leader and not a boss. I could easily have made all the decisions, gone to all the presentations, taken all the credit, called it my project, and told everyone where to meet and when and all that. I tried to avoid that, propelling the group forward but never solely deciding, never telling someone what to do but suggesting, always keeping everyone informed, etc. I think I did good and I certainly learned how to manage people better.

Judgement and Decision Making:

I think we all grew in this. We were off to a very rocky start because we couldn’t make decisions on how to proceed and how to move forward, pick a solution, etc. As the semester went on we got a lot better at this and could make decisions as a group so much quicker and easier, like who go to presentations and such, it started off totally brutal trying to decide and with us all going to Sustainapaloosa (bad idea) to being able to decide who is going where quite easy. We also had troubles trying to find a hive design to follow and had a hard time making the decision, but eventually figured it out and found out a democratic method that worked well for out group when it came to making decisions. These are only a few of many examples.