As students teach their peers about leadership through “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” a new spirit of cooperation and confidence has taken hold, and referrals for discipline have dropped at one middle school.
Ector Middle School in Odessa, Texas has had the 7 Habits in place since December, but has been practicing them since August, according to eighth-grade social studies teacher Alejandra Garcia. Teachers instruct the students and the students teach the 7 Habits to the rest of the campus. Teachers have participated in a book study of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” by Sean Covey so that it is recognized throughout the school.
According to principal Kendra Herrera, behavioral referrals at the school have dropped from 2,000 this time last year to 907. She says that using 7 Habits is part of a turnaround plan required under state accountability ratings as part of improvement required status.
“… When we were going to go into the middle school concept, we visited a middle school in El Paso called Eastwood Middle School and they pretty have much have the same kind of set up that we do here. … We’re just modeling after that and making it our own,” Herrera said.
Herrera added that teachers are fully supportive of the concept.
“They really enjoy watching our student leaders teach their kids and watching the change listening to the kids use the verbiage; that type of thing. The kids are becoming leaders and they are taking ownership of their own behavior. They’re helping other kids take ownership of their behavior. …,” she said.