Delaware Writing Project

Me and My Class are Proactive!

By Courtney Wynn


Classroom environment. Those two words are the golden words in my classroom. I believe that without a safe and strong classroom environment, true learning cannot occur.

My school is on its way to becoming a lighthouse school, which is a school that practices The Leader in Me Program. The Leader in Me program is based on the 7 Habits of a Happy Kid by Stephen Covey. The 7 Habits are:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

The thought behind it is to teach the students these 7 Habits and have them practice and apply them throughout the school day. I have many activities that relate to the 7 Habits, but the one my students use the most relates to Be Proactive; you are in charge of you. This helps my students understand that they make the choices for themselves.

Materials for Activity:

Soda Bottle

Water Bottle

     You explain that the bottles represent how you can react to someone bothering you. You shake the soda bottle up and explain, “This is someone who lets what people say or do get to them. They let the people around them affect their mood. This person lets the little things bother them.”

Still shaking the soda, ask the students what will happen if you opened that bottle. Walk around and let the students feel how tense the bottle is after shaking it. Ask the students to make their body tense like the soda bottle. “People who are not proactive are like this soda bottle. If someone cut them in line they might scream and shout at them! (GASP) That is not being in charge of yourself.”

Now, take the water bottle and shake it. “This water bottle represents, or shows us, how a proactive person reacts to situations they cannot control.” Shaking the water bottle as hard as you can, explain, “If someone cuts in front of a proactive person in line, is that a super huge major deal that is forever life changing?! No, of course it’s not. This proactive person STOPS and THINKS about what’s happening and they will stay cool, calm, and collected!”

This lesson helps my students tremendously in understanding that they are in charge of how they respond to situations around them. They even helped me calm down from getting frustrated when the class wasn’t listening by saying, “Ms. Wynn, don’t be the soda bottle! Stop and Think!”

The 7 Habits of a Happy Kid has changed the way I manage my class. It is a creative way to get students to learn real world strategies to get through social situations. The first habit, be proactive, teaches the kids to be a problem SOLVER not a problem STARTER; to stop and think before reacting; and to be in charge of themselves and their choices.

This year, my class made up a rap and I leave you with their words…


I will be proactive every day, every day

And I’ll be a problem solver when I play, when I play

I will let you know what the fact is, fact is

Me and my class are PROACTIVE!


And remember…

When you teach, you Wynn 😉

About the Author

Courtney Wynn is a first grade teacher at Thomas Edison Charter School (T.E.C.S.) in Wilmington, Delaware. She graduated in 2015 from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts with her degree in Liberal Arts and a minor in Education. Courtney is passionate about building a classroom community that encourages students to work together to solve problems. She believes that if she shows passion for teaching, her students will become passionate learners.

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