Upon graduation most high school students are told to go out into the world and make a difference. At Tulare Western High School the students aren’t waiting, they are making that difference each and every day from within their classrooms, and outside in their communities.
Our motto is simple and rehearsed at the beginning of every class: “As a leader at Tulare Western High School, I understand that leadership STARTS with me but it’s not about me. That it is my responsibility to create school SPIRIT, that I get to SERVE my campus and community, and I find ways to SHINE the spotlight on others!”
Such a mission statement may be easier said than done, and in order to make the achievement possible we’ve created a model for the program, or rather, a sort of calendar for the year. For years and years I thought my one and only job as the Director of Activities was to create “school spirit”! Every year around the middle of November I would find myself completely frustrated and confused on what to “do next”. I didn’t know how to maintain an effective leadership program that flourished year round! My student leaders would always start the year off strong, but eventually their energy and commitment levels would begin to fade as the year went on. I knew something had to change. Something had to be done!
Then it hit me! I needed to divide my leadership calendar into Four Seasons. These Four Seasons ultimately became known as the season of START, SPIRIT, SERVE, and SHINE! Each of these seasons has a specific purpose, focus, and overall goal for the student leaders.
The purpose of the first season (START), is to build relationships, cast vision and set goals for the upcoming school year, and provide students with opportunities to bond. This season encompasses the summer months. Student leaders engage in summer bonding activities, leadership camp / retreat, summer work days, family BBQ’s, and leadership development activities. This season is vital to the overall success of the school year.
Moving on, the next season is known as the Season of Spirit. This is the season, that I believe myself and most Activities Directors understand very well. This is the season that comes most natural to directors and student leaders. During this season student leaders are working towards increasing student involvement, creating a fun and spirited campus, and demonstrating school pride. This season typically coincides with the Fall Sports season and runs from August through November.
Traditionally, after the Season of Spirit is over most student leaders and programs begin to slip into hibernation. However, this does not happen with the Four Seasons of ASB. Right when your leaders think that it’s time to “chill” or “relax” the Season of Service is upon them and great things are about to happen. During the Season of Service student leaders are impacting lives not only on campus, but in the community. The goal for this season is to take ASB beyond painting posters, blowing balloons, and throwing occasional rallies. It’s bigger than that, the goal is to train student leaders to reach out and impact lives. During this season student leaders begin to extend their focus beyond their campus and onto the community around them. For example, under the codename of “Operation Warmth” student leaders feed and clothe the homeless in the community. Another event known as Souled Out for Kids, where student leaders raise money to place a new pair of socks and shoes on every students feet at a neighboring elementary school. The Season of Service helps student leaders learn to see life from a different perspective and learn the importance of giving back.
The last season has become known as the Season of Shine. This season typically runs from March to the end of the school year. During this season student leaders are looking for opportunities to SHINE the spot-light on students that typically do not have opportunities to shine. Student leaders are charged with the challenge to create activities and events that help appreciate and recognize the talents and abilities of all students on campus. This includes hosting a Special Ed week were resources students get to partner up with leaders and compete in noon-time activities. Other examples include Talent Show, Art Festival, Lip Sync, and recognition week.
The Four Seasons of ASB keeps my student leaders focused and refueled throughout the school year. As one season comes to a close and their energy level begins to decline, they immediately are reenergized at the thought and realization that a new season is upon them. The Four Seasons keep my student leaders excited and enthusiastic year round. In addition, the Four Seasons provides so many more opportunities for students to engage in numerous types of leadership activities. If you want to build the COMPLETE STUDENT LEADER and PROGRAM, I highly recommend taking a look at the Four Seasons of ASB. We as Activities Directors have an amazing privilege each and every day to reach out and impact lives. We have the ability to offer our class, campus, and community so much more in terms of student leadership. Let’s build better leaders and better programs together!
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