Olivia Johnson

  • I have chosen “Model the Way” as the practice I would like to learn more about, practice, focus on and try to improve over the next 3 months.


    Why have I chosen this practice?


    I have chosen this practice because I think it is incredibly important for a leader to “walk the walk,” rather than just “talk the talk.” I would like to be the kind of leader that is happy to demonstrate the activities or tasks to help teach others. In our school debate squad, there are only three of us that have ever been involved in debating before. We have five other seniors that have been involved in public speaking or mock debates and six juniors that have never done anything like it before. For the juniors particularly, I think it will be really beneficial for them to see me lead by example. This means that I can teach them how to write and present convincing arguments by doing so myself, and therefore modeling the way. In my opinion this practice with help me to work alongside my team members and engage with others to help them to become the best debaters they can be.


    What is one thing that I will do during this 3-month period, which will help me to be more successful when using this practice?


    Over the next three months, I plan to make a conscious effort to show people what to do, rather than just tell them. To do this I will share examples of previous speeches with the squad. I have planned to focus on teaching our juniors how to debate before throwing them ‘in the deep end’. We started this last week and plan to continue into the first couple of weeks next term. During this time, if possible, I will organize the two debate teachers and my fellow experienced debaters to hold a ‘mock debate’ for the other students to understand how it works, and to hear the kind of language that we use while debating. If this is not possible, we recorded the last few debates that we took part in and showing snippets of these may be ideal also.


    After the initial learning phase is over, I would like to start debating each other within the squad so that everyone can have some practice. This will be difficult as we only meet every Friday at lunchtime. If possible, it would be ideal to meet on a Monday at interval to receive a debate topic to plan for the Friday debates.


    I have also set up a Facebook group for the squad so that the team members are able to contact one another, and myself, during the holidays/school week.


    As part of making a conscious effort to show people what to do, rather than just tell them, I will also attend each practice, every week. This will show the team members that I am committed and am prepared to put in the work, and then hopefully they will too.


    I look forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting! Happy holidays!