In 2012, seven students have been appointed to be Middle School Student Leaders. Last Friday, we held a Leadership Assembly where they were officially inducted to their positions. Three of these students, Sam Hayden, Ellen Robertson and Meg Collins are currently on King Island. The other four, James Davidson, Isabella McKay, Sarah Robinson and Emerson Cross, spoke to the assembly and gave us their thoughts on being Leaders and role models.
James Davidson Good afternoon everyone. Today, the other Middle School leaders and I will talk to you about who inspires us. More specifically, our role models: who we look up to and who influences us as individuals.
A role model is defined as someone worthy of imitation, people who we look up to for guidance. A good role model is a positive role model. Someone who is willing to give and not take, do good and act to stand up for what they believe to be right. Anyone can be a role model and a lot of people need a role model, especially students.
My role model is Michael Jordan. Michael was a man who wasn’t afraid to fail. Although he is renowned as ‘the greatest basketballer’ he has had many put downs and failures. In his high school years, he tried out for his Varsity team; however, they stated that he wasn’t good enough to be in the team… He always turned a negative situation into a positive situation. One of his most famous quotes is: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games and 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everyone has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
You cannot learn to succeed without learning to fail. I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.
Throughout my life, I have always had someone I admire. They aren’t necessarily a celebrity, or someone high up in society, but usually someone I am close to, or someone I see most days of the week. I admire certain values that they have developed, look up to certain behaviours they display and I strive to emulate their attributes. These people are my role models.
My gymnastics coach and my 2011 science teacher are two role models that spring to mind. They are everyday people who have qualities that inspire me. They make me want to achieve and I believe, bring out the best in me. My coach was always so keen to get into each training session. She motivated and encouraged me every step of the way. The passion and energy that my science teacher, Miss O’Rourke brought to each class, empowered me to strive to do better. I hope to pursue these qualities in my role as a leader.
In 2012, I want to be a role model for my peers. I hope to lead by example, make a difference in the College community and be that friendly face that students and teachers can talk to. It would be an honour if I could positively influence and guide the students so that their time in the Middle School is a great and memorable experience.
I have found that I am not a person who tends to really idolise others. There are definitely people that I look up to, but I don’t really get obsessed with other people. But I have found that I can learn a lot about myself and my beliefs from other people, even if I don’t know these people personally. This is because they are role models. A role model is a worthy person who is a good example for other people. Everyone can learn from others; it can be an extremely rewarding experience.
I have had many people that I can consider to be role models for me. Some of them, as you might expect are parents, siblings, certain teachers, and friends. I am thankful to all these people, but today I want to talk about what I have learnt from two entirely different people: the sailor Jessica Watson and my tennis coach, Rob Benoit.
I read Jessica Watson’s autobiography, and I think that it taught me a lot about the philosophy of life. It taught me that we all need to create our own paths. As I read in the 2010 Claritudo recently, the School Captains quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said: ‘Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ I think this is a very important piece of advice. Jessica Watson also encourages the beliefs that we shouldn’t let others get us down; we should use our initiative, enjoy every moment of life, and, importantly, follow our dreams.
My tennis coach also helped equip me with many skills — that I use on and off the court – by reinforcing principles which had already been modelled to me. While tennis is only a game, it provided a context that made sense to me and gave me the chance to put ideas into practice. Rob helped me realise that being calm and concentrated will help us achieve our goals, that practise makes perfect and that you need to turn negative energy into positive energy. This means that even if you’re having a bad day, you can turn all those bad vibes into positive experiences.
One day after suffering a hard loss, when I walked past him he said, ‘Chin up champ.’ I will remember that moment forever. Even though I am a naturally competitive person, he helped reinforce my belief that fairness is more important than winning. Many of these ideas may be clichés, but they have important underlying themes that can help each of us in different ways.
As a Middle School leader this year, I wish to set an example to other students which you would be proud to emulate. I aim to represent Clarendon College in a way that makes you honoured to be part of our school. I also intend to be accessible to all of you. You need to know that we are all equals in our school community. You have the right to influence what goes on – after all, it’s your Middle School. I also want to be unambiguous in my values: you don’t have to believe everything that I believe, but I want you to be able to learn from me, just as I have from my role models over the years.
Role models; why do we have them? Do we try to find similarities within ourselves that other inspirational people uphold? Or do we try to find areas where we ourselves falter and others succeed? A role model might be your favourite philosopher, sporting hero, parent, political leader or conservationist. We recognise these people within the broader community because they do what they do to the best of their ability.
When we are inspired by someone, do we take on the personality and traits of that individual? The simple answer is no. We look at what the role model does and we emulate their characteristics that we seem to think that we need to improve on. It’s similar to a lecture. Teachers don’t tell you what to write down, or what to do about it. We decide to take down what we believe is best for our learning. As a school, I find that the best role models within our community are our students and staff. There are people within this community who are striving in fields of their own, in which I know I can improve. For instance, my fellow leaders James and Isabella have wonderful gifts on the sporting field and on the gymnastics floor, playing and performing to incredibly high standards. And Sarah’s ability to argue with me, and win, gives me the challenge every single History class to out-smart her. I haven’t been successful yet. But just because I have used my fellow leaders as example doesn’t mean that a role model has to be a leader. Because everyone is unique, we all have expertise in different areas.
Another influential person to me is my learning mentor Mrs Evans. Every day, she strives to be a motivational, passionate, energetic teacher and counsellor. She is constantly pushing and inspiring others to reach their full potential, time and time again.
These are but a few of many people that I try to aspire to. And the most wonderful thing about having a role model is that it is possible that you may even end up being a role model as well, because we are able to widen our spectrum by taking characteristics from our role models, completing the circle that allows everyone to develop and grow from one another other.