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Just when you thought Woodland student leaders were the best they could be, there was an option to get even better. Woodland now offers a Student Government and Leadership Class.
Created mainly for student government members, any student from any grade can enroll in this class; it does not matter if they are in the actual Woodland Regional Student Government organization.
Student government advisor, Christopher Tomlin, fought hard to get the class fit into the the Woodland curriculum.
The class was approved by the Region 16 Board of Education and students are able to take the class, with teacher, Tomlin, in the 2017-2018 school year. In the class students focus on building leadership, group working, speaking skills, etc. Students also plan projects that would usually be run by the Student Government organization.
“I am a firm believer that leadership is essential and we need to do a far better job at preparing our students for the real world,” Tomlin states, “Leadership is one of those tough things because most people assume you either have it or you don’t, and you can never really learn it.”
Tomlin has been pushing to get this class at Woodland for about three years now after hearing about classes like these being offered at the National Association of Student Councils Conferences. Out west and down south it is very common for leadership classes to be offered, yet it is rather rare in New England.
In this class, the students learn about skills to be a leader. Sophomores Grace Rua and Amanda Garofalo, believe that they have grown as leaders.
“I do feel my leadership skills have improved since joining this class because we learn a lot about how to work with different groups of people,” said Rua, “It just gets a lot easier to work with different groups of people and accomplish the main goal.” Garofalo agrees and states she does feel it is easier for her to work with different people and express her ideas more confidently.
Although he thinks it is still very early in the course, Tomlin believes that the students have demonstrated improvements in their leaderships skills. He felt it was interesting how the students were able to realize through their work how many leadership skills they already had.
“Even when we put out our pitches for homecoming and spirit week the students that put theirs forward are three diverse people,” Tomlin says. “It is really cool to see three people, who at the beginning of the course who might not have thought they could, put something like this forward.”
Overall, Tomlin is surprised at how fast the students are picking up on the skills and planning their events, and is excited to continue teaching the course.