Brookview Leadership Grows Through Classroom Leadership Roles

Encouraging excellence in writing starts early. Two students in Molly Boyle’s Brookview Elementary third grade class have assumed the roles of classroom journalists. They are responsible for taking pictures, writing articles, or creating video or audio clips about the core academic areas or leadership celebrations every two weeks.


Brookview third grade journalists, Miku Mizushima and Pranathi Devalla.

Boyle said the journalists must make use of the habit ‘seek first to understand’ to summarize student learning and teach audience members strategies and skills that were emphasized in lessons.

Subjects the students journalists write about include math, literacy, science, social studies and leadership. Miku Mizushima, the math journalist, and Pranathi Devalla, the science, social studies and leadership journalist, enjoy writing, using technology and demonstrating positive leadership qualities to their peers and teacher.

“I get to write about three different topics but science is my favorite,” Devalla said. “This week I got to write about what we learned in class which was precipitation and climates in different countries.”

The classroom journalists have the options to either write and post their stories online or write their stories on paper. Devalla enjoys posting her stories to her online class blog while Mizushima prefers to write her stories on paper.

“I really like to write and writing helps my teacher,” Mizushima said. “And I like math so I signed up to be the math journalist.”

Most recently, Mizushima has written about multi-digit addition and subtraction as well as creating a bar graph showing the class’s favorite ice cream flavors.

Waukee Community School District strives to provide opportunities to children of all grade levels and places emphasis on developing leadership skills. Boyle’s class is taking these opportunities in the form of “classroom leadership roles,” which allow students to assume more responsibility in the classroom and be a positive example among their peers. Brookview Elementary is also a Leader in Me school, which serves to create an environment where students can develop leadership skills while also building integrity and character.

“This leadership role supports many aspects of our third-grade writing curriculum while at the same time requiring students to use several habits of effective leaders,” Boyle said. “Students must use the habits ‘be proactive,’ ‘begin with the end in mind,’ and ‘put first things first’ because it is their responsibility to meet deadlines and find time to prewrite, draft, edit and revise their writing.”

Boyle said having leadership roles in the classroom helps each student improve their leadership skills in a particular area of interest while also expanding their leadership skills as a whole.

“I use leadership roles to emphasize the importance of each individual playing a part in building a successful and respectful learning environment. Students enjoy having leadership opportunities and take them very seriously,” Boyle said. “Leadership roles provide opportunities for students to grow in areas they love or are interested in developing even further.”

The Leader in Me

The Leader in Me is an approach to creating an environment of leadership in our schools. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are integrated into our school traditions, systems, curriculum and culture, and work in close connection with our school-wide PBIS, our guidance curriculum and 21st Century Skills. The Leader in Me and the 7 Habits emphasize skills to help students be successful outside our classroom walls.

Everyone is a leader in his or her own way! We believe that every child possesses leadership skills, but needs time to learn about how to be an effective leader and must be taught how to collaborate with other students and adults.

The 7 Habits

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek first to Understand, Then be Understood
  6. Synergize