The ins and outs of Student Leadership with award-winning educator Terry Umphenour
As an award-winning educator, Terry Umphenour has poured his life experience in the military, as a writer, and as an avid outdoors man into his students for over 30 years; one-third of that at Concordia International School Shanghai. The result is transformational, especially for those students who are able to participate in his somewhat unconventional leadership programs. In this podcast, Terry shares about student leadership programs–the benefits he has seen in his 25 years of implementing programs for middle and high school students, the right ingredients required for success and how you, too, can bring this incredible opportunity to your school.
This podcast is one of ten in the HowTo@ConcordiaShanghai series. For information on how to contract the Limitless platform to benefit your organization email Ally here.
There are tears, fears and rewards and everyone is praying for fire!
Intro to student leadership programs
My leadership programs began 25 years ago with an outdoor program that trained seventh and eighth graders to climb mountains.
At Concordia the program developed into an elective course that includes a 27-hour simulated rescue mission and a level 4, week-long survival activity.
Whatever the program, the growth comes in the simulation.
“Students make decisions throughout the process and live with the consequences that may include physical discomfort.”
- To use simulations to increase student leadership skills
- To help students master initial skills required for life success
- To help students acquire empathy to be benevolent when leading a group
A measurable student impact
“Even though everyone cannot go, everyone can participate.”
- Greater confidence
- Better friends
- Comfortable outside their comfort zones
Impact on the greater community
- Raising interest in leadership among the broader community
- Expanding community interest in environmental issues
Program set up
- Give consideration to what you hope to accomplish
- Target group
- Desired Outcomes
- (especially the target group and expected outcomes),
- Define resources needed
- Support from school
- Support from parents
- Partner with professional or community organizations to accomplish these programs in less resourced educational environments
Must-haves to ensure success
“It is more dangerous to drive there than to participate in the program when you have the right people running the programs.”
- Admin support
- Picking the right leaders
- Pointing out how students will grow
- Believing that failure is an option
- Picking the correct students for the correct programs
- Gaining parent buy-in
- Clear communication to all stakeholders
- Find the right co-team leaders with the right skills or aptitude to learn the skills
- Do the research
- Prepare the simulation
- Answer the hard questions
Identifying the right partner
- Make a list! Once you know the skills and passions you need in a partner, you will be able to find them in your school or your district.
- Let the experts help you succeed. They have the insurance and you may not.
Your next step
- Identify your goals and outcomes
- Make a cost benefit plan
- Seek out the help you need for the skills necessary to reach those goals and outcomes
Connecting with Terry
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Terry Umphenour and we’ll make sure Terry receives your message.