In the world of Exalted, there’s this book that officers in the military use called the Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier. I didn’t write it into the game myself, but I got to expand on it in a few different ways. The idea is that it’s a book which contains all of the strategies and tactics known to the great warriors and generals of the age, and that an army which follows its guidelines precisely enough is un-defeatable.
I’ve just had the chance to try my hand at writing just such a manual, and the first draft is a dozy It’s twenty-two pages of guidelines for our ninth grade leadership cadre, who help dormitory parents like me to supervise their dormitories, and who have in the past, not been as helpful as thoroughly as they should have been. Some of that fault was ours, and some of it was theirs, and some of it was how we chose our leadership. It was a common difficulty. But we recognized it, and we made some changes. In the spirit of adding something new each year to an existing program, I’m trying to keep track of what we’ve done.
Four years ago, we made some changes in how we selected these leaders: the faculty still elect them, but the eighth graders submit written, paragraph-long ‘applications’ for the job, as well. Three years ago, we instituted a leadership day at the beginning of the year, in which we tried to teach them everything they needed to know to be school leaders in twelve hours. Last year, we held the leadership day, but we also held a weekly dinner for these students, at which they had a chance to talk with each other in a more relaxed atmosphere. Next year, at least in theory, we will have this manual I’ve just finished drafting, to serve as a training document and a baseline for developing our leadership program further.