The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 15, 2013

Stephen Covey's '7 Habits' shakes up schools

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — One year after Johnathan Kent kicked his principal and school "went all bad," the 8-year-old was recognized at a recent assembly as the "Star of the Month" for being polite and helping out his teachers.

The third-grader's explanation for the turnaround: "I'm not doing what I did last year."

But Emily Cross, the principal of Indian Trails Elementary on the outskirts of Kansas City, Mo., is giving some credit to a program the school began using last year that is built around the late self-help guru Stephen Covey's best-selling "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." A 25th anniversary edition of the 1989 book will be released in November.

The nearly 1,500 mostly elementary schools using the program — called "The Leader in Me" — teach principles from the book, including "think win-win," ''seek first to understand, then to be understood" and "synergize." Teachers, for example, might ask students how historical figures like George Washington might have used them.

And if a student gets into trouble, teachers and principals ask what habit could have helped him or her avoid the scrape.

When Johnathan's principal asked the boy what habit led to his turnaround, he quickly responded, "Do first things first." He said he didn't finish his work last year.

Students typically are assigned leadership roles that range from class greeter to fish-tank cleaner. They also keep a leadership notebook in which they chart growth in an academic area. The notebooks also track a personal goal, such as the time spent learning to tie their shoes. Cross said the tracking is a big motivator for Johnathan.

"He sees that when I'm in class putting first things first, my dot on my graph is going up, and he's proud," Cross said. "He's very confident now, and he wasn't last year."

Text Only
AP National
  • Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel. Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, "Ther

    July 25, 2014

  • Pot may be legal, but homeowner agreements can ban DENVER (AP) — Pot may be legal in some states — but the neighbors don't have to like it. Marijuana and hemp have joined wacky paint colors and unsightly fences as common neighborhood disputes facing homeowners' associations. Though a few HOAs have wi

    July 25, 2014

  • Central American leaders convening at White House WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at

    July 25, 2014

  • Little sunlight as Obama raises super PAC dollars WASHINGTON (AP) — For years President Barack Obama railed against the surge of unlimited spending flowing into American political campaigns, arguing that average voters were being shut out of a secretive system that lets special interests bankroll el

    July 25, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Man faces charges in hospital shooting DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A man who authorities say fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex near Philadelphia and was then shot by his psychiatrist remains listed in critical condition. District Attorney Jack Whelan said Richard Plotts would be arrai

    July 25, 2014

  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, but the agency can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarke

    July 24, 2014

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S.

    July 24, 2014

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel. The end of the ban, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets, was effective at 11:45 p

    July 24, 2014

  • Man run over by own truck during road rage GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window. It happened Tuesday evening in Gainesville, Florida. The

    July 24, 2014

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over th

    July 24, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National