Leaders in Training
Snook ISD English teacher Annette Kirk started the LIT (Leaders In Training) Club for eighth grade girls because she wanted to do something outside the classroom that would make a positive impact on some of her most vulnerable students. “An opportunity presented itself when I intercepted one of my girls storming out of a class,” Kirk remembered. “We talked, and I pitched the idea of a club just for girls like her.”
As the club evolved, the 11 inaugural members made vision boards for their futures and wrote notes of encouragement to their teachers. They learned to be inclusive of all students and to express their true feelings during car rides home in the school suburban. Other teachers even pitched in to teach the girls new skills and reinforce a positive message of learning.
Toward the end of LIT’s first year, Kirk asked the students to consider why the club existd. With her help, the girls began to form a mission statement and composed a pledge: “I pledge to become a leader and a lady of respect, maturity, kindness, self-control, and responsibility so I can become independent and accomplish goals.”
The first 11 members of LIT are still involved with the club even though they have moved on to high school; over the summer, they participated in a training camp to become LIT mentors for this year’s incoming class of eighth grade girls.
“Some days I am so tired after a day of teaching that a LIT meeting, and the hour and half it takes me to drive girls home in our rural district just seems like too much,” Kirk said. “But then I remember Ms. Byerly, my middle school choir teacher, who took some of us to see an opera. And Mr. Ruiz, who would meet us at the city library to teach us how to do research for debate club. You see, #IAmTXEd because they were #TXEd.” #IAmTXEd SnookISD