Teaching good work ethic and leadership skills in the classroom.

Posted on Nov 7, 2015 by Brent Jaffe Latest activity: Aug 7, 2017

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I am a high school media teacher that teaches an introductory class in digital media to 9th graders. I feel that the maturity and skill level of my students requires that I provide a lot of control over the procedures and steps to the point that they do not have to take on a lot of responsibility and leadership for the projects they work on. But, soft skills and leadership are supposed to be incorporated into my class. The classes they take after mine incorporate much more independent work. I'm looking for suggestions or references that can help me begin building these skills in my class.

Comments (8)

Angela Wong

Posted on Feb 25, 2017 10:53:38 PM - Permalink

​I'm not sure if you're still looking for feedback as your post is from some time ago, but here goes. I have a work ethic block on my project rubrics that lists the following criteria:

  1. Used class time effectively and came to class prepared.
  2. Demonstrated perseverance and problem solving throughout the project.
  3. Actively participated in class and followed along with class demos.
  4. All work handed in on time, submitted to Google Classroom.

I also give them a participation score for participating actively in the project critiques at the end of major assignments. They need to have their project submitted on time to participate so if they don't, it's a zero that cannot be made up.

Another option that I started to use last year is Google Classroom. It's a wonderful platform to share the lessons with the students, including the due dates and supporting material. It lets you know exactly when something is late and you can email only those students who have not submitted the assignment to you yet through Classroom. ​It also puts the responsibility squarely on their shoulders in a way that seemed to be clearer to my students.

Another thing I have done with particularly troublesome classes (regarding getting work submitted on time) is to take points off for each day the work is not received. This limited their maximum score.

Hope this is helpful!

Mika Ducobu

Posted on Oct 22, 2016 6:50:47 AM - Permalink

If all teachers could work with the same state of mind

Larry Rud

Posted on May 13, 2016 2:32:57 PM - Permalink

Hey Brent,

I feel your plight. I am finishing up my first year as a teacher at the high school level. I teach Photoshop to all grade levels but the bulk are 9th graders. I have struggled with the same issues you described in your post. For the last quarter I incorporated a new rubric that I went over with the kids. It lays out my expectations and how exactly I will grade them. Before I started this new system I had well over 50% of the class turning in work late. Now I would say only about 10%. I have a block on there were I grade them on professionalism in the classroom and that seems to be helping as well.

I hope any of this helps you and good luck!

-Larry

Tessa McNamara

Posted on Nov 6, 2016 4:53:07 AM - Permalink

That rubric sounds fantastic! Would you be willing to share?

Vehicle Paint Protection

Posted on Jan 5, 2016 12:03:05 AM - Permalink

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils"

-Ever Garrison


Anchor Points

Posted on Dec 24, 2015 2:45:09 AM - Permalink

Well I think that your attitude and work ethic are going to rub off just nicely on your students. Well done and all the best.

Michelle Dennis

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 4:33:07 AM - Permalink

At our school, the students work in small groups to create their entries into the International Youth Silent Film Festival. The girls individually come up with a concept and try to sell the pitch to the class. The class has a silent vote to chose which ideas are to be developed and we set up small groups on each movie idea. Each student is given an individual role which is very clearly defined: Director, Cinematographer/Camera Operator, Costumes, props and make up, post-production. They prepare and plan, then have a one day incursion to make it happen. Afterwards, some of the group work on a supporting marketing campaign while the others do the post-processing and editing.

The reason that this task has been really successful is that it's carefully scaffolded but student-owned. We carefully match up the students with roles that either they would do well in or would give them scope for growth. Post task reflections on both their own performance and the group performance highlight what they could've done better. The teacher acts as a mentor rather than setting the pace.

Adobe Education

Posted on Nov 23, 2015 6:22:34 PM - Permalink

Hi Brent,

You may want to check out some of the resources we created as part of the Digital Careers Curriculum where we work on the soft skills. Below are some syllabi and activities that may help you. You may also want to check out the workshop Managing the Creative Classroom.

Best of luck with this and please report back what you finds works and how you built these skills. It is a really important topic and we'd love to hear more!

Cheers,
The AEE Team

- Introduction to project planning, project management, and teamwork
- Exploring Design Careers
- Design project review and redesign
- Peer review
- Presenting design projects
- Project Management and Planning for Design Projects
- Research and Communication for Design Projects