Enhancing the Leadership Potential of Children
The Future Leaders
Brief Descripiton of the Learning Process
The development of a child started right at the moment of conception. According to studies, an infant inside the womb could already learn the things that he could hear. When the child was born and started to explore the world around him, the learning process continues depending on the ability of the child. Others can learn things at an early age and others would have to wait until they could reach a certain age before they could start a speedy learning process.
At an early part of childhood, they could learn from what they see and hear. That is why, it is suggested that as parents, we should teach by showing ourselves as an example. It means that a child learn by imitating things.
At the age of 5, a child can start his reasoning ability. This is the perfect time for the children to mingle with other children to learn the importance of socialization. Parents would then allow their children to start going to school. This way the child would realize that they are not the people in the world and that they need to be with others.
As the children started studying, they learn to mingle with a group. There are some who would eventually show a strong leadership quality. These students will show their ability in leading a group which can be observed during group activities inside the school.
A Question For You
Have you attended a Leadership Training when you were in primary or secondary grades?
A Great Challenge
Having the goal of developing the leadership potentials of future leaders in the municipality in mind, the Municipal Council for the Protection of Children (MCPC) in our municipality delegated the task of developing the leadership potentials of these children to our department which shall be one of the activities for the Children’s Month Celebration. My boss who was the one attended the meeting, accepted the offer.
She informed me about it and asked me to develop a design that would fit to children who are in elementary level (ages 6 to 12) and high school level (ages 12 to 16).
I grew up without attending any leadership training even if I know I was one of the officers during elementary school days. This kind of activity hasn’t been introduced during our time. So giving me a job like this definitely gave me some hesitation. I was in doubt that I could be able to develop a good training design for this purpose.
Our department is handling different programs related to local development and whenever we conduct trainings, our participants would either those coming from the local government units, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Government Organizations or Village (Barangay) Officials. This is the first time that we will be handling students.
This was one of the greatest challenges in my career. We were given a budget of 12,000 ($286.00) plus 3,000 ($72.00) pesos as honorarium for the speakers and two weeks to prepare everything for 79 students as target participants for a two-day event. 54 of which are elementary students and 24 from the secondary level. The budget allocation was to include foods for the participants.
The amount allocated was not even enough for the foods of the students so we decided to put the whole amount for children’s food and since we are members of the MCPC, we will solicit the help of other members during the event.
Working on the Project
While creating the training design, I am considering the following factors:
The span of interest of the children.
Would they be able to stand a whole day lecture?
Would this be a boring activity for them?
I started searching for activities which would fit for a leadership training for young children. Thanks to the new technology, everything has been easy for me. I also solicited some idea form my daughter who joined the same kind of training in their school a few months ago.
When the council called for a meeting to get the plan design of every member for every activity given to them, I presented our training design. I told them that since our participants will be children, I will let them play. I told the other members of the council that this activity, being the first to happen in our place should bring good memories for the children.
The activities which include games will not only help the children develop their leadership potentials but will also help them to among others, develop self confidence, awareness, resourcefulness, patience, creativeness, camaraderie and teamwork among the children.
The council approved the proposal and I started working on the activity. It was not an easy process identifying participants for the activity considering that the municipality where I am currently assigned has 49 villages and some of which are coastal villages which need to travel by boat in order to be reached.
The Event Day
Everything was set prior to the activity. The day of the event came and everyone was excited. We were all first timer to this, I supposed.
The activities included were banner making which incorporated inside a treasure hunting game, tallest building, protect the egg and the amazing race which includes four different activities. Short discussions like Johari Window, Child’s Right and Impact as a Leaders were also included after each activity. The time was very limited so I see to it that the presentations will be brief but comprehensive.
As we facilitated the event, we had seen the cooperation among the participants and the willingness to learn. I can see the eagerness and the excitement of the children. It was a successful event. I can heard some feedback that they do hope for another trainings like this in the near future.
I am certain that they already changed their understanding of a training which they used to believe as a boring and dull activity. Training and seminars can be full of fun yet loaded with knowledge and ideas which can help them achieve their leadership potentials. I’m sure that the recently concluded leadership training will remain in their minds for a long time.
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I know that it was not a perfect activity due to some reasons such as, malfunctioning gadgets (microphone not working well, air condition units were not in good state), not enough food due to limited funds, not enough time, small venue, etc. But what I enjoyed was that nobody mentioned about it after the activity. What remains are the learning and the enjoyment they had throughout the activity.
As our national Hero Dr. Jose Rizal said, “children is the hope of our nation’” so we have to teach and guide them to become a good leader of the country. Leaders are born but nurturing and developing the potentials would definitely the best way to assure that they are on the right track.