On Monday, 24 November, approximately thirty student leaders from various groups spent a day at Forestanbul for a leadership workshop. Joining them were IICS Head of School, Jane Thompson; Secondary School Principal, Chris Andre; and Director of Student Learning, John D’Arcy. This event was intended to provide students who are already taking leadership roles within the school to gain more tools/inspiration/focus to further develop the great work they are doing on their respective committees. Student representatives from the Student Council (StuCo), the Exploratory Advisory Committee, the Tech Squad, and the Dolphin Squad (who provide support and leadership for our athletics and activities program) began with a discussion about what leadership is. Facilitated by Managing Director for LEAD|Turkey, JT Rehill, students later worked in their teams to develop SMART goals for their respective groups. SMART goals are those which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Our student leaders will continue developing their SMART goals in sessions at school in the coming weeks because the rest of the day was devoted to challenge! Drawing on their strong collaboration, communication, and risk-taking skills, the students and staff took to the forest to navigate a tree top obstacle course. Despite the intermittent rain, laughter and excitement fueled the group and the event was energizing for the whole crew.

Student reflections on the event:

“During our Student Leadership Training Day, I realized that we were able to act like leaders during the course at times when we didn’t even realize it. This was very valuable to me because it helped me learn more about myself and how I can strive to be a better leader.”

“I enjoyed the rain because it was like an obstacle that we had to learn to live with. I also loved how we got closer to one another and we had to learn to trust each other.”

“I believe that the student leadership training had an instant impact upon my ability to be a leader, perhaps it was the feeling of recognition of being invited to such an event or the fact that I was in an environment with people I knew would not halt my progress.”

“I really enjoyed the chance to start developing skills that I might need later in my life. I believe that skills such as leadership are much more important than actual knowledge of the Russian revolution.”