Developing the Leaders Around You

Leaders Can Make Things Happen:

“Power is the ability to get things done.” -Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The first topic that I felt was important is the idea that leaders are people that can always make things happen. The idea is that when you are looking for a leader or are looking to be a leader it’s important to have the ideas and the abilities to make projects happen. You can have the resources and the plans, but it takes leadership to get every aspect working.

Leaders must be able to get projects done not just by starting them and getting tasks moving but also by being able to keep progress moving when faced with tough situations. It’s important as a leader to be able to make accomplishments even when you might not enjoy what you must do because you know as a leader it must be done and you have the ability to do it.

This can apply well to TALONS on a bit of a smaller level than what John C. Maxwell was thinking about when he was talking about this part of potential leaders. As a grade 10, it’s important for me to help make tasks happen for planning like the leadership project and the adventure trips. I should be putting my ideas out there and helping problem-solve to make progress with what has to be done for these events. This can also apply to looking for potential leaders. If there are grade 9s that are working hard to make progress they might benefit from more responsibility or less support with the tasks they are working on.

The Tour Guide Mentor:

“A leader’s role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite.” -Jack Welch

Another hugely important concept was the Tour Guide leader from the modelling part of session three. The idea here is that the best way to be a leader is to work with the people that you mentor, not send them off the do the work you don’t want to do.

This is important because it shows the people you mentor that you can be trusted to mentor them on the project and shows that you are there to support them all the way through. This applies to the modelling step because by going through the work with them they can pick up on the ways you do it and might learn from your example in the process. From the book, we learned that people learn the most from what we see, hear, say, and do and this process usually helps to include that kind of deeper learning.

This has big applications for how TALONS works because we are easily able to apply this when we work with the grade nines. As someone who should be modelling what is excepted of us, I want to focus on applying the idea to not just tell them the task when I am mentoring. This can be easy to accomplish when we are working together to share ideas for the task and solutions if we run into problems. It is a responsibility of mine to make sure that the process of going through the planning helps to make them ready for grade 10 by letting it be a collaborative activity that they will learn from and remember.

I Monitor:

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”-John Crosby

This last concept is part of the steps to developing more leaders and it is the ‘I monitor’ step. The idea for this step is that once you have modelled the task and helped mentor them through a task, they will start to take responsibility. This step is about how you should still be there to support them after they have a better understanding if they need help with resources or guidance through the process.

This step is highly useful to make the transition from mentee to new leader feel less scary for people. Being thrown out into the deep end doesn’t work for everyone so having that check-in to make sure they are getting the hang of having more leadership responsibility can be a great help.

This concept has a lot of applications for the way we work as leaders in TALONS. When we are grade 9s we learn our way around the leadership tasks and processes so that we can be a class of mentors the next year. As we are going into the leadership project and the adventure trips the grade 9s have much more experience so that means they will be able to do a lot more of the work with less support because they have gained the knowledge to do the planning. This doesn’t mean that the grade 9s just work through everything on their own though. It is still as important as ever for me to be there as a mentor to offer my experience and ideas. Offering the help we can as grade 10s will hopefully help to make the grade 9s more confident and knowledgeable leaders for next year.


Crosby, John. “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” QuoteHD. 2021, November 26, 2021.

Kanter, Rosabeth. “Power is the ability to get things done” QuoteNova. May 1, 2018, November 26, 2021.

Maxwell, John. Developing the Leaders Around you. The John Maxwell Company, 2014.

Welch, Jack. “A leader’s role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite.” QuoteFancy. 2021, November 26, 2021.

Eminent Practice Interview Reflection

The practice interviews we did on Wednesday were helpful to gain more experience and feedback on our interview skills. They were conducted with our classmates which made them less scary than when we do our real interviews, but they helped me get an idea of what my interview could look like.

The first part of the interview that I learned I could improve on was my pacing. Natalie was the one assessing me, and she mentioned that I was moving through the questions quite quickly. For my interview, I think I should try not to rush through anything and give lots of time for responses. This is important because it will help me get information about my eminent person that I might not have known to ask about for. I also want to not rush through my questions so that the person I interview can understand what I was looking for in the answer. If I give bad explanations to questions, I can’t expect to get the information I need for this project.

During the interview, I also got to practice being aware of how I am coming across to the person I was interviewing. In interviews, there are a lot of considerations for how you hold yourself and what kind of energy you give off to the person you are interviewing. For the interviews we did, I practiced showing the person that I was interviewing that I was engaged and interested in their answers. Something I still had to work on was making sure that I was not fidgeting and moving around too much. This can be distracting for the people that are answering questions and I would not want them to forget an answer or lose their train of thought. This might be less important because our interviews will not be in person but was still helpful to practice for the future.

The last part of the practice interview that I found helpful was getting some positive feedback. It helped me build confidence in skills that I was told were the strengths of my interview. Natalie mentioned that I was responding to the answers in a way that helped keep the flow of the interview going. I found this helpful because I now know to stick to how I was responding to the interviewee’s answers for my eminent interview.

The practice interview helped me practice new skills in a low-stakes environment. I was able to learn what I can focus on improving on for my interview and what I was already doing well. When doing an interview, you do not usually get any feedback so this experience was helpful for any interviews I do in the future.

Introductory Blog Post Reflection

I found the process of looking at other people’s blogs was a great way to learn about topics I wouldn’t usually explore. Even if someone was doing a person that works in a field I am not usually passionate about I still feel that I found the blogs interesting. That was because I was learning about the achievements of real people. I think that receiving peer feedback will help me prepare for posting my final learning center because the feedback can be considered when I’m writing and presenting that. I find that having another person point out ways I can improve makes my work better than any self-editing can. Something I found really enjoyable about the process was seeing who the people in my group chose and why they chose them. I think that seeing the person they pick is a great way to find out more about my classmates and their interests. Reading other people’s blogs also helped me get more ideas on what I could include in my future posts. Getting to see the variety of media people included helped me to start thinking about what would work well for me. Not only did the process help me gain knowledge about other people’s topics but, it also opened up more ideas for how I can present my project in the future.

Eminent Introductory Blog Post

“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry”

Emily Dickinson, 1870

                                                                                                                                      Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


For my eminent project this year I am doing Emily Dickinson. Emily Dickinson is a famous American poet that lived in the 1880s. She wrote mainly lyric poems and was part of the romantic style movement in poetry. She was never recognized for her work when she was alive, but her poems became popular when they were published after her death.


Emily Dickinson is eminent because of her effect on the poetry world. She was pushing what was conventional in multiple aspects of her poetry. One of the first noticeable features of her poems was her use of dashes instead of more normalized punctuation in poetry. Emily Dickinson also had a very distinct writing style. She would explain bigger concepts using ideas that most people are already familiar with. This way of writing shows off how observant she could be and her unique way of looking at the world. Emily’s writing has shown that it is important to keep pushing what we see as the norm in writing to be able to look at concepts in different ways. I think it’s safe to say that Emily Dickinson has had a big effect on our world. Her experimentation with the standard lyric poem’s rhyme and line format has made her one of the most influential poets to come from America. Emily Dickinson’s poems have been appreciated for a century and a half now and I believe they will continue to be because of how distinct they are. Although, Emily Dickinson did face an obstacle and that was a lack of recognition. She would send her work to friends and family, but it is believed she never had her work published. It is likely that she was not published because her work was not conventional at the time. Even though there wasn’t any kind of acknowledgment for her work she persevered with her writing. She spent a lot of her time in her room writing poetry and binding her poems into books because it was her passion. I chose Emily Dickinson instead of another poet because I love the way she writes. I find her point of view in her poetry interesting as well as her different uses of rhyme and punctuation because it adds her own touch to the poems.

Personal Connections:

Emily Dickinson interests me because of her work in poetry and her life. I feel a connection to what she writes about because she has a clear point of view in her poems adding lots of details. I do not know a lot about poetry yet and would love to learn more about it. Specifically, I want to learn more about the lyric poem that Emily uses. The lyric poems connect to my passion for music because they have famously been paired with music. The poems involve writing about feelings, and I appreciate vulnerability in writing. I am also doing Emily Dickinson because I can connect to the fact, she never wanted to conform to what society told her she should do. Emily never got married and never wanted to spend her life as a housewife like she was expected to, being a woman because she was committed to spending her life doing what she truly enjoyed. Emily Dickinson shows a lot of observational skills in her writing and I feel a connection to that because I love writing more observational-based works. There is one barrier I face as I go into this project and that is the fact that Emily Dickinson lived in a very different time. During this project, it will be important for me to gain more knowledge about what it was like in the 1800s so that I can better understand her.


My goals for the next part of this project are to get a better understanding of lyric poem conventions and a better understanding of what living in the 1880s was like. Understanding the conventions of a lyric poem will help me be able to see when Emily Dickinson breaks these conventions. Getting to know the time period better will help me think about how she interacted with the world more.

Other Resources:

This link here has a list of Emily Dickinson poems if you scroll down to the bottom of the website. If you are interested, you could check out one or two here.


About Emily Dickinson. (n.d.). Academy of American Poets.


Emily Dickinson. (2021). Poetry Foundation.


Ratcliffe, S. Emily Dickinson. (2016). Oxford Essential Quotations.


Major Characteristics of Dickinson’s Poetry. (2021). Emily Dickinson Museum.


Remote Learning and Digital Projects Reflection

What are your thoughts on hybrid classes compared to learning groups? 


I think that overall, this year I preferred being in the learning group version of a class. This was because it was easier to stay in contact with classmates and teachers about what we were working on at that time. When we are working half online it usually takes longer to get answers or get help about current assignments. I found when we had the same class every day we were able to get to know our classmates and the subjects we were learning much better because there were no breaks.  


How has technology benefited you in hybrid learning? 


The main way that technology has benefited me during hybrid learning was by giving me access to so many different resources. It was very helpful that a lot of the materials we were using were online because we wouldn’t forget them and we would always have access to them if we had our technology.  


How has technology impeded you in hybrid learning? 


I think that the main problem with using so much technology for school was that combined with using it to be in contact with our friends it added up to using a lot of technology every day. It was hard to be in a 2-hour meeting for classes and then do homework on your computers and then want to talk to people online because you can’t meet in person. Though we wouldn’t always have meetings online for every class when we did it felt like a lot of just sitting in front of a screen and I feel like I didn’t learn well like that.  


Is there anything you hope to keep from hybrid learning? 


One part of hybrid learning that I liked a lot was that we had more freedom with our learning. It was sometimes nice that we got more freedom to choose what part of the day we would work on the assignment when we had our days at home. I also found that we were able to present our learning in lots of different ways for some of our assignments online. Using technology, we had lots of different options to put together a presentation and I really enjoyed having those options offered to me.  


Two projects where you used digital learning: 


In-depth Final Presentation: 


For this project, I used technology in lots of different ways to learn. The first was using it to meet with my mentor who taught me lots over zoom. I also used it for resources that helped me learn some of the basics of my skill which was what helped me to get started safely. Then it helped me present my learning in the best way I could. I think that I wouldn’t have learned nearly as much as I was able to. 





For this project, I used technology to do all my learning. This project would never be achievable if I wasn’t able to research my eminent person through articles, performances and the music that they made. I also was able to use a website that helps you create your website. This helped me put together all the aspects of my learning together in one convenient place for anyone interested in my learning centre. 


In-depth 2021 Final Post

Hello and welcome to in-depth!

For the past five months, I’ve been learning how to roller-skate. At first, I focused on all the basics I need to have a solid base of skills to use when I’m trying different more advanced skills. I chose to do this skill for my in-depth because I thought it would be a great way to have fun and get exercise. I’ve improved a lot since the beginning of my project so I hope you check out my video or are interested in learning a bit more about roller skating safety.


            If you’re interested in one of the most important parts of roller skating check out my presentation. It goes over the basic ways to prepare for your skating. All this safety was especially important for me during this project because I started as a beginner. Going through all the safety steps helped me build confidence in my skates and get better.

Click here: Safety Slide-Show

Skating video:

Click here to check out the video of my progress so far: Roller Skating In-depth Video

Thanks for checking out my in-depth and special thanks to my mentor for all their help over the past couple of months!

In-depth 2021 Post #6

Welcome to my final roller-skating in-depth post!

Progress Update:

I have been having a lot of fun with my in-depth during the past four weeks. With nice weather, there are more spaces I can go to practice my skating. This is because skating on wet surfaces can be a safety hazard, so I stay in undercover areas. Nice weather can also make it more enjoyable to be spending time outside on roller skates.

In the past weeks, I have been able to get out to a tennis court not far from my house to practice in and it was a really great place to skate at. The area was larger and less bumpy than where I usually practice during. I was able to see how much I have improved with more space to go faster and turn around easily.

In the past weeks, I was working on a couple of different skills. The first skill that I feel like I got a handle on since my last post was my weight-shifting/turning skills. I feel much better about being able to avoid obstacles and snake back and forth now that I have had more practice with it.

Another skill I have been working to improve is going backwards. I made some attempts to do it before a meeting with my mentor because I knew it was a similar strategy to learning how to go forward, but I had some struggles with it. After talking with my mentor, she pointed out some ways I could improve it though that I can now apply when I practice.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been really getting the basics of roller skating down. This combined with feeling much more comfortable on my skates means that I can start trying more tricks that build off the basic skills I already know.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind:


The overall big concept of every meeting with my mentor is to learn how to skate It is hard to have a definition for ‘knowing how to skate’ though. I think right now the focus concept of this meeting was the basics of roller skating. Even in that concept though there are smaller concepts that we have been going over as we get more into it. Concepts that I’ve already learned in past meetings are ways to go forward, ways to stop and how to be safe while you are skating.

One concept that was a bigger focus of this week’s meeting was ways to move backwards. One of the first skills I had a challenge with was doing bubbles backwards. Know that I have been practicing it since the start of my project it comes very easily to me. Something that my mentor mentioned would happen when we were talking about the new way to move backwards, I was working on. “That’s how it starts. I promise you one day it will suddenly click and it will just come naturally after that.”

There is also the concept of how I build towards being comfortable with those skills. Lots of the skills I’ve done in skating so far have similar ideas for how to get to a place where they feel easy. The skill that I had learned that related to how I learned how to move backward was of course forward. “It was the same thing when you were learning to go forwards just little steps at a time.” These two skills shared the same concept of starting with smaller shifts from foot to foot that would eventually lead to being able to do larger glides. The only difference was a change in foot position.


So far, I have found that roller skating is a skill with so many possibilities. This makes it a great activity for have alternatives. There are not only many different options for tricks to learn but also ways to learn those tricks. “There are so many things out there to try. No matter what difficulty it is they are great to encourage you to try.” We were discussing what the options were for what to learn know that I have been feeling good about some of the base skills we have learned so far.

One part of that idea that involves having alternatives is when it comes to choosing moves that are more difficult. The way that we would approach that usually is by finding alternative skills that involve parts of the tricks and practicing those until we can piece them together. That way of practicing is an alternative to diving straight into a more difficult move. “If you already have that one the other one will come easily.” My mentor was talking about the fact that I knew one way to move backwards so getting comfortable with the next would be easier because of that.

When it comes to moves that don’t build off of another like the basic skills we were starting with my mentor was helpful with finding different options when one way wasn’t working. An example of this was recently when I was learning how to glide backwards. The first way she suggested was taking little steps backwards with my skates in the right shape. The other option was trying to shift back and forth with the skates in the correct shape. I found that it was helpful that I had an alternative to the first one because I found when I was taking steps my feet would begin to drift apart making it more difficult. “If you were to try leaning back and forth more then it won’t be a matter of picking up your feet more shifting weight.” My mentor was very helpful because she explained the way that the different strategies could help with the difficulties I was having.

Final Product:

Roller skating isn’t something that creates a material product so for my learning center I wanted to show people the progress I have made and explain the way I have done that. I have been taking video evidence since the first time I put on my skates to be able to compare. I want to not just show that beginning and the final product though I want to show and explain the process in-between.

I will do this by putting together a video with comparisons of the videos from different stages of my learning of different skills. I want to explain the process of what I’m doing and why I am doing with the actual videos of my project so people can get a better idea of how I approached learning how to roller skate. My video will likely contain parts about the actual skates and how to be safe with them, some base skills that I learned during the project, and one of the more difficult tricks that I was working towards. I will also have a part about different kinds of skating so people could find out what kind of roller skating could be interesting to them.


Here is a clip from when I was able to get out to a bigger space for skating:

Roller Skating Clip

Thanks for reading!

In-depth 2021 Post #5

Hi, this is post #5 of my in-depth. For my in-depth, I am learning how to roller skate.

Progress Update:

Progress has been going well for me as we start to really get into our in-depth projects. I am starting to feel much more comfortable on my skates. This makes it a lot more fun because I am less scared of the falling part of learning how to roller skate.

The fact that I am getting more comfortable is exciting to me because it makes me want to try challenging myself more. One way I thought I could do this was by finding a bigger practice space in my neighbourhood. The tennis court or the lacrosse box would be a great place to try more challenging skills on my skates. With more space, I can try gaining more speed and doing sharper corners. This will help me get used to the idea of trying longer distances which is one of my end goals.

One skill I have been focusing more on in the past weeks is turning. Not only is learning how to turn is useful for avoiding obstacles while skating, but it is also a great way to work on shifting weight, something that is important for several of the tricks I have been learning. Shifting weight is something that mostly just takes practice. I have been practicing this skill on skates and off skates because it requires not only balance but also the ability to control your direction with one leg.

Overall, I have been progressing steadily so far. I think that I haven’t been progressing quite as fast as I was at the beginning. I think that is because we started off with simpler skills that I was able to get faster but now are moving on to ones that require more practice. I am very excited to keep practicing and keep progressing with my skating over the rest of the project.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind- The Six Hats:

This was a part of our meeting recently. I was asking my mentor about how I could improve the new way to stop that I was learning. I took that clip of our conversation and looked at it with the six hats choosing which hat fit with different parts of our conversation.

Guide for the Hats:

Red Hat: Focus on emotion and feeling, doesn’t require evidence to support.

White Hat: Focus on hard and soft facts, involves information

Green Hat: Focus on adding to the conversation, promotes creative thinking

Blue Hat: Focus on guiding the conversation, the point of the conversation

Black Hat: Focus on critiquing, judge and look at problems

Yellow Hat: Focus on the benefits, looks for value

M- My Mentor

C- Myself

C: So, I was learning a new stop yesterday and it was not going well. (black)

M: Which one is it?

C: It was the one where you take your skate and rotate it to the side and place it down. (white)

M: T stop?

C: Yes, that’s the one. So, I took a video of it so that you could look at it and we could talk about it. (blue)

M: Yeah, it’s hard to help without seeing it but if I see it I’m sure we can figure it out. (blue)

*There was a bit of a pause while I sent her the video*

M: Yeah that’s not an easy stop until you really get it. (red)This one is very similar to the toe drag. (white) Do you remember how we learned those? (green)

C: Mhm yeah.

M: For this one, it’s different because you have to open your hip more before dragging. (white)

C: Yeah. I’ve been working on the balance for that for a while and it’s getting better but definitely way better on one side than the other. (yellow)

M: Yeah that always happens. There are two things about this stop. One it’s harder on ground that is less smooth because your skate bounces. Two it’s harder with softer wheels they won’t slide easily. So it’s important to put more pressure. That floor looks pretty rough. (white)

C: Yeah, I can skate on it but it isn’t completely smooth and flat. (white)

M: The other thing is that you need a little bit more speed. To be able to stop you have got to be moving. Try and find somewhere where you can really get going faster. You can practice lifting up one foot as you are going. (white)

C: Like the one-foot glides? (green)

M: Yep just like that. Once you’ve got that try moving the foot around to where you would put it down. Once you’ve got the balance for that then try putting the foot down. (white) Everything looks good just more and speed and watch how you are putting the foot down. (yellow)

C: Yeah I always find myself getting off balance when I have to pick my foot up and then put it back down. (black)

M: I understand you can totally start going the completely wrong way if your hips and knees aren’t going forwards. Practice without the skates can help with that. (white)

Thoughts on the Conversation After Transcribing:

I noticed that we got all the hats into the short part of our conversation. Though we did they were very uneven comparing each colour. The most common one being the white hat because I was asking her about how I could learn it so it involved telling me the steps that make it happen. This also caused the conversation to be lacking in red because we were just talking about the steps to getting this stop down. I also think the conversation could have been better if I tried asking more questions or more creative thinking to add more green. I think that would add more interest to learning.

Thanks for reading!

In-depth 2021 Post #3

Hi, welcome to my third roller skating in-depth update!

Progress Update:

              One of the main focuses of the past two weeks was really solidifying all the skills I’ve learned so far. I should get very comfortable with the basics before moving on. This is because a lot of the skills just build on the balance and movement of the skating, I’ve learned so far. That part of the project has been fun because it means I get to just skate around and I am finding that a nice kind of break from my day.

I have been also learning a few more basic skills to add to my list. Those include one-foot glides, weaving back and forth and turning around. All these skills are helping me become a much better skater. The one-foot glides are really helping me build up balance skills as well as helping my legs get stronger. The weaving is helping me with weight shifts and remembering to stay low. The turning is very useful for when I am skating in smaller spaces because it helps with smooth and quick direction changes. Overall, the skills I have been learning lately have been helping me improve my skating faster than I expected it to go.

The last important skill I learned from my mentor recently was how to adjust my skates. In our last meeting, she taught me how to adjust my skates to make them best for the skating we were doing. She taught me how to test my trucks and wheels and how to tell when I need to. She also taught me a fun fact about roller skates when we were talking about trucks. “The truck design actually originated in roller skates and was then copied to be used on skateboards.” I found that fact very interesting and noticed how it tied into the chapters being a piece of information added related to the topic of discussion.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind:

Being Interesting:

My mentor made it quite easy to apply the being interesting chapter to our meeting. During skating, there is lots of time for us to talk as well. I also found adding interest to the conversation helped the conversation flow naturally.

During our conversation lots of the different aspects of the chapter. One of those was #2 talking about interesting personal experiences. When we were talking, we don’t only talk about roller skating sometimes the conversation will branch off to something that might have happened recently which is a good way to get to know each other more. This mainly happened because of making connections from what we were working on in the lessons to other experiences skating related or not. I also tried asking my mentor about her experience in roller skating and the styles of roller skating she liked to come up with new conversations to have.

Another one of the aspects in the chapter was #5 speculation. We discussed what good skating activities I could do once I improved and the weather got nice. This included places to go skating and more complex skills to learn. These activities would depend on my future skill level and what style of skating I really dive into but one activity that sounds perfect right now is going along the sea wall.


Responding was a skill I wanted to build up in my meeting this week. I think it was very important to having conversations with my mentor to make sure that they are having a good time as well.

There was one part of our conversation that I found related to this chapter of the book. During our conversation, we were discussing working toward goals and I used #3 to respond. My mentor was talking about finding moves to work towards a goal. I fully agreed with this and was able to add to her idea. I mentioned how this method had worked for me in the past when learning other skills. This led to us deciding that I could find different tricks I thought looked cool and then we could plan to work towards them.

Thanks for reading. See you in two weeks!

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