Leadership is Carlmont’s newest elective, and has come to Carlmont for students looking to develop their communication and human relation skills.
It is also a new option for students interested in joining the Associated Student Body (ASB) in the future. Unlike ASB, Leadership does not require an interview, and the students do not actively participate in the planning of school activities.
The parallel between Leadership and ASB is not necessarily in the students or their responsibilities, but in the curriculum. Leadership is like a precursor to ASB focusing on similar skills, but being taught in a different way.
Leadership teacher and ASB supervisor Jim Kelly described Leadership as a “curriculum based class where we learn leadership lessons,” in comparison to ASB, which he described as a “project based class” with similar goals.
Sophomore Kamrin Choye said that in Leadership “we learn communication skills and how to effectively apply them.”
Freshman Ethan Miller added to Choye’s comment and said, “In Leadership we learn to work better in groups and to problem solve.”
According to Kelly, all Carlmont students would benefit from taking Leadership.
Kelly stated that “the [Leadership] curriculum is directly applicable to the job world. Leadership is unlike any other class because it is very involved. I teach Leadership class through a series of fun, challenging, hands-on activities.”
He further explained, ”If you really want to learn something you have to get involved in it. My whole philosophy as an educator is that if students can get involved in what they’re learning, then they are going to learn it.”
One of Kelly’s favorite quotes is from a Chinese proverb that reads “Tell me, I’ll forget it. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand,” and that is exactly what he tries to do in both his Leadership and ASB classes.
In Leadership class they spend a lot of time on, in Kelly’s words, “the art of communication” which he describes as the skills of speaking, listening, and presenting ideas.
Choye reaffirmed Kelly’s statement and said, “It’s a good way to improve speaking skills.”
Also included in the Leadership curriculum are topics ranging from problem solving and time management skills (individually and in groups) to how to conduct oneself during a job interview.
Kelly said, “Everything we learn in this class can be applied to any type of situation where there are going to be human relations.”
As well as the useful and practical skills taught in Leadership, there are other benefits. For Miller it was about breaking out of his shell.
He said “I’m a normally a quiet person and I took Leadership because I wanted to be a better communicator. Taking this class has definitely helped with that… I’m not quiet anymore for sure.”
Another great feature of Leadership is that it prepares students who are interested in joining ASB in coming years.
Kelly said that taking Leadership “has to improve one’s chances of getting into ASB because [students] are going to have more than the basics of leadership. They are going to have a really solid foundation of leadership skills that we look for during the ASB interviewing process.”
He concluded and stated “I would imagine that there are students who take the Leadership class that don’t want to be in ASB, but they just want to learn leadership because it’s a really great skill to have later on in life.”
Kelly makes clear how valuable the new Leadership elective will be for students who are interested in expanding their human relations skills and/or interviewing to be in ASB in following years.