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School Leadership Positions

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#1 decisionsdecisions

Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:47 AM

Would you encourage your child to apply for a School Leader position if they believed they had virtually no chance of receiving it?

Speeches and voting are to be held next week.  DS has written a speech of his own accord and is semi-keen to present it other than he doesn't want to face the disappointment and embarrassment of "putting himself out there for nothing".  On paper he is probably one of the most qualified (it is for house /sports captain - he is the only one to have been selected to compete in district sports teams, he's organised, respectful, etc, etc) however he is very, very quite and doesn't 'stand out'. He has a good group of friends but is never the most vocal in it.

Voting is by show of hands in front of the whole house group (includes all year levels in the school) so kids are somewhat careful how they are seen to be voting.

I'm keen to for him to give it a go because you need to be in it to win it & if he did happen to be chosen the experience would be great for his personal development but I also understand his thinking.

He doesn't know what to do and is looking for my guidance.  I don't know either and am looking for some wise words!

Many thanks

#2 barrington

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

In my limited experience, no I wouldn't.  DD1 has just been through the leadership stuff at her primary school.  There were a combination of students votes for certain positions (with speeches) and leadership roles chosen by the teachers.  Every position that was voted on by the students ended up being a 'popularity vote', rather than the student most suited to the role.

#3 PizzaSteve

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:13 AM

If he knows the process and how votes happen and he is unsure rather than saying a straight out no I would encourage him to give it a go - he might be surprised and get a role! You never know how kids might vote and if his speech is a little funny and maybe jokes about how quiet he is the kids might react really well. That happened at our primary school - the child who wasn't expected to win made a funny speech the kids loved and she got the role.

#4 ECsMum

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:14 AM

I think I'd ask him what he thinks the outcome would be based on his knowledge of prior years - Like PP mentioned - is it a popularity contest? Does he think he has a chance?  

Disappointment and embarrassment are OK - if he can take the loss in his stride then why not use it as a learning experience.  If he doesn't think he could deal with it well then he can make the decision not to apply.

#5 Fossy

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:29 AM

Surely the teachers can see the issues with that way of voting? I think it’s quite cruel. Surely a secret ballot would be a kinder way to run it? At least then if someone ends up with no votes they never know it.

I’d encourage my child to run but also see if there’s a different way the voting could be done.

Good luck to your son x

#6 Blondiebear

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:32 AM

I would encourage him to give it a try. Public speaking is something so few people (I'm talking adults) are good at and comfortable with, and I think it' good to take opportunities to practice and get used to it from a young age. Of course he may not get chosen, but I would not see it as a certainty that he won't. If he doesn't give it a go he could spend the rest of the year wondering "what if" and regretting that he didn't try. The other kids might surprise you/him and vote for who they think is best for the role rather than the most popular kid.

#7 EsmeLennox

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:51 AM

I’d be very unhappy with that voting method, both as a teacher and parent. As a parent, I’d be giving the school my two cents worth on that.

Otherwise, I would encourage him to have a go and talk about managing expectations and what he might feel if he is unsuccessful. I don’t think fear of failure should stop kids from trying.

#8 Tinky Winky Woo

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:59 AM

I am encouraging our oldest to nominate for everything he can at school.  We have had an honest conversation that he might not get what he applies for but that is OK.  I have also spoken to him about how it shows to the school and other's that he is interested in becoming a part of the school for the right reasons.  Also when it comes to applying for high schools that can go towards showing his commitment and diligence.

#9 4lilchicks

Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:09 PM

I was a big "yes" - until I read the schools style of voting! I think they need to have another look at it and do a secret vote.

#10 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:10 PM

The fact he has written a speech shows he is keen so absolutely yes encourage him to try!!

It doesn't matter if he doesn't win he won't win everything he tries and imagine if he doesnt try anything for fear of not winning.

This is a great opportunity to put himself out there and a great learning experience no matter which way it goes.

#11 Treasure Island

Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:17 PM

One of the reasons my sons' primary school ditched captains and now the whole grade are the leaders of the school. They started this when my oldest was in grade 6 and it works well. They have committees that do different jobs and rotate each term.

Does your son only want to run if he is guaranteed of winning? That might be something you need to discuss. I think its still a good experience and practice for public speaking etc.

#12 nup

Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:18 PM

I'm firmly in give it a go territory. Regardless of methods or expected outcomes we are always made better for the experience.

#13 lozoodle

Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:09 PM

Definitely. It’s not just about winning, it’s about building the confidence to put yourself out there.

#14 paddington_

Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:10 PM

That's a terrible voting system.
Of course it will be a popularity vote.
That's how they did it at my school 20 years ago. The popular kids won.  Every.  Single.  Year.

This however shouldn't stop your DS from putting his hand up. As long as he understands the voting system and can handle the result,  whichever it may be.

Edited by paddington_, 07 February 2018 - 03:12 PM.

#15 Wahwah

Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:57 PM

I don't think it's always a popularity contest, because the kids in the lower years really don't know the Grade 6 kids. The little kids vote on who was the most confident, or who made them laugh, or who said something that resonated with them.

My child tried out for a house captain, fully believing one of his friends would win, because the friend is brilliant at sport and is 'cooler'. But to his surprise, he won because his speech appealed to kids in all grade levels. He made the speech about how he'd support them no matter what, rather than being about his abilities.  

So...if your DS has put the effort into writing a speech I would encourage him to do it, with a full understanding that he can't control the outcome so he needs to be prepared for anything. It's a great experience and fantastic that he's motivated to give it a go. It shows the teachers that he's a kid who wants to make a contribution, even if he doesn't end up winning the vote.

#16 José

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:06 PM

 Wahwah, on 07 February 2018 - 03:57 PM, said:

I don't think it's always a popularity contest, because the kids in the lower years really don't know the Grade 6 kids. The little kids vote on who was the most confident, or who made them laugh, or who said something that resonated with them.

My child tried out for a house captain, fully believing one of his friends would win, because the friend is brilliant at sport and is 'cooler'. But to his surprise, he won because his speech appealed to kids in all grade levels. He made the speech about how he'd support them no matter what, rather than being about his abilities.  

my experience is little kids vote for who they know.
so if ur quiet and not well known about hte place you are less likely to get votes.
little ones might also be highly influenced by the way others are voting.

#17 barrington

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:21 PM

 José, on 07 February 2018 - 04:06 PM, said:

my experience is little kids vote for who they know.
so if ur quiet and not well known about hte place you are less likely to get votes.
little ones might also be highly influenced by the way others are voting.
So true.  They will vote for an older sibling of one of their friends or who they do weekend language classes with or the student who helped out in their classroom the week before.

#18 teaspoon

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:27 PM

He should totally give it a go. It's great that he's preparing.

Get him to work on something funny to open - something about him being a quiet kind of guy.

#19 EmmDasher

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:36 PM

What a silly way to vote. I’d encourage him to do it if it’s sonething he cares about.

When I went to school, the top athletes were always voted house captain. Which is great except they were always competing and never on hand to actually do any of the work. You really want someone who is good at motivating others but not necessarily sporty. You want a spectator not a player!

#20 2bundles

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:40 PM

I think he is looking to you for confidence. Telling him no because he probably won’t win isn’t what a child needs to hear.

If he honestly thinks it will be bad he won’t do it. Everyone understands there is only one winner.

#21 jossy

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:41 PM

My eldest is autistic and when he was in grade 7 he decided to nominate for class captain.  At his primary school the leadership positions were definitely a popularity contest (they've changed the way they do this now which is awesome, all of grade 6 are leaders).  Based on this I assumed he'd have zero chance because he'd never been successful previously so spent a lot of time time preparing him for the loss.

I was gobsmacked when he came home and announced he'd won and then it happened again in grade 8!  His speech both years appealed and his classmates knew he was the type to follow through.  He skipped grade 9 (couldn't be bothered....) but this year he's a peer leader which was determined by the staff.  I find this just as awesome because it shows they see his positive qualities, just like I do.

If your son wants to do it then support him.  The public speaking practice is a positive and he sounds keen.  He knows how it works so he's going in with his eyes open.

#22 BBC

Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:06 PM

Surprisingly often, the popular/ sporty kids don't bother preparing much of a speech, because they a too cool to bother or think they have it all sewn up.

I'd recommend he have a go. I'd also ring the school and suggest voting slips for a private vote. It's not tricky, just a bit of paper with the names and a photo next to each one.

#23 onetrick

Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

I think he should give it a go... I’ve seen student representative council presentations for a few years now, and I love that kids tend to vote for those that deserve it based on the speech rather than popularity.
The voting style seems horrible to me, too, but I think I’m this case any votes would be a positive. If teachers are allowed to vote and your son has the best resume (so to speak!), get him to look at the teachers for their votes- even if he doesn’t win, it might boost his confidence.
We also have kids every year who drop out and we need students to apply for other things, so if teachers know he is keen to do more he might get tapped on the shoulder for other stuff.
Best of luck!!

#24 CallMeFeral

Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:38 PM

I would encourage him to give it a go.

He has already written a speech, so he's keen. And I'd like to (will see how this goes in practice) teach my kids go for what they want, even if it's likely to fail. I actually like the idea of teaching them to go for lots of things INCLUDING ones that are likely to fail, because I think fear of failure handicaps people more than actual failure usually does.

So I'd pose it to him as something along the lines of... if you want it, go for it. Whether you win or not doesn't matter, the fact that you put yourself out there and had a go makes you a winner already.
And then maybe some sort of celebratory action afterwards if appropriate - regardless of whether it's a win or not.

#25 decisionsdecisions

Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:46 PM

Some great input, thank you.

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