A school captain is a focal point for student concerns and for staff to pass on information to the school. He may be democratically elected, so he needs to have a high profile and be a trustworthy person. An effective leader has a long list of qualities and skills he needs, but a school captain may learn these along the way to improve his impact on the school.
Leadership is an essential quality for an elected person. The students must trust him to be both capable and stand for their concerns. The captain must also be able to lead a student council or committee, and keep order when the group dissents with each other. Part of leadership is being able to take decisive action when all the information is in, and sometimes this means that the captain is unpopular with some of the other students, so he must be able to handle criticism well and use the criticism to improve future decision-making if it is relevant. Student morale is another aspect of leadership, so the captain should be able to rally some enthusiasm for projects to keep them on track.
A school captain is a student representative, and as such, is an intermediary between the staff that runs the school and the kids that attend the school. He needs to be able to listen to the concerns and desires of the students, and be able to pass on this information to the staff in a clear and reasonable manner. He must then be able to listen to the staff and relay their position to the students to keep them up to date. He also requires decent public-speaking skills, as he may have to address assemblies or events. Chaperoning visitors to the school may be another job responsibility, so he should have good interpersonal skills, and be able to converse easily with both students and adults.
School captains need to be extremely organized. The role requires a captain to punctually attend all necessary meetings. She may also have to organize groups in hosting events such as fairs to get the school involved, or hold fundraising events to raise money for a particular activity. To take on this responsibility effectively, she has to keep abreast of all necessary tasks, delegate the tasks if required and also keep herself informed of any developments.
Students of the school may be content with the school as it is, and in this case, the school captain need not attempt to make any drastic changes. However, whether the captain faces a tough challenge or a happy student body, he may be able to improve the students' well-being and enjoyment of the school day. He can make small innovations such by introducing better canteen seating areas or changing rules that forbid personal music players at lunch time, for example.
Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.