For the past 10 years, I have had the honor to serve Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard children and youth across the county, and the month of April always holds a special place in my heart as it is the Month of the Military Child. The Department of Defense has dedicated a whole month to recognizing and thanking military youth for the selfless sacrifices they make each and every day for their family and country.
Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. As we celebrate this month, we want to stress the importance of providing military children the support to help them thrive in a military lifestyle.
Transformational leaders inspire their followers through relationships and are characterized by positivity, a focus on developing their followers, and transparent communication. Yukl (2002) recommended the following 4 “I”s to transform followers into leaders:
Every role in OST indeed has the potential for leadership – from directors to site coordinators, teachers to assistant teachers, volunteers to youth enrolled in the programs. We often think of the leaders in OST as the program directors and administrators, the behind-the-scenes people. The 'bosses' as the students in my programs say (they always want to know who is in charge of who).
I began my work in the OST (out-of-school time) field as a transition leader at the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan, KS. Transition leaders were in charge of maintaining smooth shifts between activities and monitoring behaviors within grade groups. From that position, I was promoted to a program leader and eventually became a director of a first-year 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program.
Did you use the 4C's today? Of course, you did! How? You made a phone call. You held or participated in a meeting or training. You connected with someone via email. You solved a problem or coached someone in solving one. You came up with a new idea either alone or with a colleague. You wrote a touching blog. You interacted positively and constructively on social media. And much more. You may have taken the ability to do these things for granted, but don't sell yourself short.
Bullying is a problem for many children, but those who have a disability, like cerebral palsy, or are perceived by their peers as being different, are at a greater risk. That risk is as much as 63% greater than for other children. Teachers have a responsibility to create a safe environment for all children. One way to prevent bullying and to support all kids is to make classrooms more inclusive.