School leaders are always looking for ways to use their time more effectively, to actually get done the things that matter most. One way in which I accomplished that in the recently concluded school year was through weekly one-to-one meetings with Darrow’s Student Body President Ross Matican ’16. Having that regular check-in allowed me to do several things that would have been much harder otherwise.
The first tangible accomplishment was launching a new and much sought-after student snack bar, in a way that was truly student-led and organized. Another benefit came following a student protest in April. Being able to meet with Ross allowed me to directly influence how the event was processed, resulting in a new dress code proposal, as well as several other ideas for the coming year. Without a well established and open line of communication, I would have been operating in the dark, and would have had a much harder time responding constructively to the issues our students raised. Finally, as a teacher, the meetings allowed me to directly mentor a young leader in how to use his time effectively to create change.
In reflecting on the experience, I asked Ross how he felt about his meeting time with me during his term. Here’s what he said: “Through our weekly meetings, I learned first-hand that change is a truly collaborative effort. I also realized that there is no better way to become a leader than to be mentored by a leader.”
What Ross helped me learn this year is that the value of that interaction can be just as great as any of the others I have each week. Thanks for that, Ross. And to Zion ’17, who will be next year’s Student Body President, I look forward to keeping the momentum going with you. School leadership needs to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. That won’t happen unless students are part of the equation.