While their peers slept in on Saturday, Aug. 26, Mount Carmel School’s student leaders got up bright and early to participate in the school’s Student Leadership Retreat in the school’s Maturana building.
Held every year, the retreat helps students grow as leaders and gives them the opportunity to work together to plan all school activities for the school year.
School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero kicked off the retreat with a talk about leadership and challenged student leaders to rethink their understanding of the concept. “Leadership is nothing if people don’t follow you, so the key is to learn how to motivate your team,” Deleon Guerrero said. “In this sense, the definition of leadership is motivating others to accomplish something together.”
Talking about the importance of motivation, Deleon Guerrero told students, “Despite what you may have learned, people are not that motivated by promises of rewards or threats of penalties.”
“The research tells us that people will rally behind you if they believe in you, if they believe in your vision, and if you believe in their ability to fulfill that vision.”
Taking this all together, he ended with one last piece of advice: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
After Deleon Guerrero’s leadership talk, the Student Council took over with a team-building activity in which students had to build a pyramid of paper cups using only yarn to carry the cups. According to council president Erika Mendiola, the activity helped students learn to work together under difficult circumstances.
After a few more group-building activities, student leaders and their teacher advisers got down to work, planning out the entire school year. Going through week by week, Student Council officers worked with clubs, classes, and organizations to schedule activities for the year. Whenever conflicts emerged, students were ushered aside to work out alternatives and solutions. By the end of the retreat, student leaders had successfully planned out the entire year.
Student Council treasurer Theresa Zheng was very happy with the results of the retreat. “It was great because we learned that it’s not just one person that leads the team; everyone has to work together.” (MCS)