A Guide to being a Student Leader

A student leader in Rock Challenge® is a student or a group of students who take more of a leadership role in a school’s Rock Challenge® entry. This can include taking on one or more of the following; choreography, organising rehearsals, auditioning, creating the soundtrack, costuming, set design and production, stage crew, administration and more. The students competition of this will be overseen by teachers but the students will take the lead.

Before becoming a Rock Challenge® Ambassador and Volunteer, and after being a performer for a number of years, during year 12 and 13 I led my schools entry to Rock Challenge® with the assistance of a few other students. My school was also awarded the 2016 National Rock Challenge® award for Student Leadership, which I’m very proud of! Here are some of my hints and tips for becoming a Student Leader and why it can be beneficial to get students involved in the running of your team!

What are the benefits of being a student leader?

  • Learn leadership, organisation, time management and communication skills
  • Work with other students and teachers
  • See what it is like to manage a group of people
  • Apply what you are good at to a higher level (for example, if you are a good at making up dances, why not be the choreographer for your team)
  • Take a step into the teachers shoes
  • You can unleash your creativity
  • It builds your confidence
  • You can create a bigger bond with your peers
  • You feel a sense of pride when you have managed to help someone
  • It is amazing to see the finished package when everyone comes together as a team, knowing you have been a valued part of it
  • You learn skills which are also valuable if you wanted to become a Rock Challenge® Ambassador or Volunteer

Hints and Tips for Student Leaders!

  • Listen to the ideas of all the participants in the group, whilst you are a leader you are still part of a team and may miss out on good ideas from your fellow students
  • When assigning parts make it fair and not biased towards friendships or yourself
  • Keep the energy high, if you are excited your team will be more motivated
  • You need to be confident in leading others
  • Be approachable to all year groups
  • Get started early to avoid exam clashes
  • Even though your team are your peers in this instant you are acting as a teacher, so of course you want everyone to have fun, but you need to make sure everyone is listening and not being silly to avoid people getting hurt
  • Keep communicating with your Liason Teacher

Hints and Tips for Liason Teachers Interested in Adopting More of a Student Led Approach!

  • Having Student Leaders can create good role models around the school, who other students look up to
  • Sometimes students feel more confident talking to other students about things, from experience I have noticed that students are more willing to speak up if they have a question or are struggling to students leading rather than just teachers.
  • Do not select a large team of students to lead, from my experience a cohesive group of no more than 5 students allows the students to communicate and work together much easier
  • Student Leaders can become great promotors of Rock Challenge to get more students from the school on board
  • Keep the age of leaders high, it gives the older students a chance to develop valuable skills whilst having younger students to look up to them
  • Student Leaders want your time, support, commitment, respect and guidance, which is reciprocated in the classroom
  • Being a student leader isn’t always an easy task and especially if all components are student lead (like I undertook) make sure the students are organised and on top of their school work during the process, check in with them every now and again

I cannot express enough what a valuable, insightful and amazing opportunity being a Student Leader is. If you are a student wanting to take more of a lead in your schools performance, talk to your teachers about it. It has taught me so many skills I continue to apply and was an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Beth

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