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Shannon joins The Brekky Show every Wednesday morning at 8 am as our resident Mum Lyfe correspondent! She’s here to share the good, the bad and the ugly as she parents her 3 sons with her hubby Dave.

When you’ve got a bee in your bonnet, how do you deal with it? Maybe you talk it through with friends or confront the person involved. But sometimes hashing it out around the kitchen table with the family is just what you need. So that’s what Shannon was doing when she came to see us this week.

She had a bee in her bonnet and she needed to hash it out with The Family.

Strap yourself in, this one is controversial! So, here’s the situation: Shannon’s three sons attend a primary school that they absolutely love. Her family has been there about 10 years already and they’ve still got more to go. They’re locked in, they’re invested, Shannon can’t speak highly enough of the teachers. The only thing is, this year the school has made a change.

The school has decided to remove student leadership roles.

Mum Lyfe: Should primary schools have student leadership roles?

These roles are (or were) called “House Captains”. Of the year 6 students, there was a boy and girl captain for each of the four houses, so eight students had leadership roles.

The House Captains were made redundant because the school believe that “everyone is a leader”. Instead, they’ve given every student a responsibility, things like opening the gates or raising the flag or picking up rubbish. Shannon thinks it’s a huge mistake, she thinks it’s taking away an opportunity for the kids to build resilience.

When her oldest was in year 6 he wasn’t interested in nominating himself. Through that, she saw him learn something; he realised that if you don’t throw your hat in the ring you don’t get opportunities.

However, her middle boy was so excited about this opportunity. He’s not in year 6 yet, but now he’s disappointed he won’t get a chance to stand up in front of his peers and make his election speech. Shannon thought no matter which way it went, if he got House Captain or not, what great lessons he would’ve learnt. If he did, he would’ve learnt all about being a leader. If not, he would’ve learned that “you can throw your heart into something and not achieve it – and that’s life. What a great opportunity for him to resilience”.

Kirste likened it to the everyone-gets-a-participation-ribbon-at-the-sports-carnival situation. “That’s just not life,” she said.

“If he didn’t get it, I would’ve said ‘that’s ok mate, you weren’t the best man for the job – and that’s ok!’ and we could’ve had a conversation about how in real-life, everyone has different roles and strengths.”

So Shannon wants to know, is she thinking the right thing here? Or did she miss something, is it actually a better idea to remove these student leadership roles in primary school?  Join the conversation on Facebook!




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