Be Proactive: You’re in Charge

When you’re a child, it’s easy to put the blame on others - just ask any sibling! What’s hard to do is taking responsibility for your actions. But, like many things, there are ways to learn to make good choices. 

At Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), we teach leadership and personal responsibility through our Leader in Me program. Every morning we teach through the example of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The first habit grounds and supports all of the other habits: be proactive - you’re in charge!


PACE Academy student sits at desk in classroom writing on a paper with a pencil. A teacher is just visible in the background.


PACE Teaches Success Through Responsibility


Pace Academy wants to set our scholars up for a lifetime of success at our tuition-free public K-8 charter school. We teach strong academics but feel that social emotional learning (SEL) is just as important for our scholars’ brilliant future. We use the 7 Habits to learn about ways to connect in a positive way, as great leaders do. First up, being proactive!


The habit “Be Proactive” teaches students how to take responsibility for their life. With this habit, students learn that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. Knowing they always have choices gives students an opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.


There are small ways we can take control, like listening to the words we tell ourselves (hint: keep it positive!). We can also listen to our teachers who model this behavior by reminding us that we can do our best. 


Sometimes, we might struggle and have to find a different way to go about something, but that’s okay, we can do it! We are the creative forces in our lives and we can focus on what can be controlled. We can recognize that we cannot control everything that happens to us, but we CAN control what we do about it. 

Taking Charge in Elementary School

The principles and concepts of “Be Proactive” explored in our program are:


- Reactive vs. Proactive responses

- The freedom to choose

- Choose your weather

- Responsibility, choice, accountability, initiative, and respect


In our engaged K-8 community, everyone can find a way to be proactive. Here are some ways our scholars take charge!


- Be on time for school

- Keep desks clean 

- Hang up backpacks and coats

- Go to their teacher and find out what they need to catch up on when they’re absent

- Clean up garden tools and art supplies

- Do school work in class so they have more time to play basketball or join a club after school

- Go to sleep at a reasonable time

- Use electronics wisely

- Use proactive language - instead of “I’ll try”, say, “I’ll do it!”

- Pick up litter 


As administrators and teachers, we reinforce proactivity by:


- Keeping parents informed of school progress so families can help their children succeed

- Recognizing scholars in our assemblies who go above and beyond in modeling the Habits

- Focusing on the positive with scholars, encouraging them in their greatness


Given that we’re a small school, we know our students and what they need to thrive. We know when a scholar is ready for bigger responsibilities, and when they might need a helping hand and a little more encouragement. We are here for all of it and we take our role –and, our responsibility– seriously.


Join our PACE Academy Warrior family where learners today are leaders tomorrow. Enrolling now!


About PACE Academy 

Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth grade in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!