My five-year-old son Ian is a preschooler at the Asheville Montessori School in Asheville, North Carolina. Each Monday his teachers pick one person to be the “class leader” for the day. I only became aware of this because one sunny afternoon Ian came bounding up the stairs proclaiming, “Guess what, Daddy—I got to be the class leader today!”

Being the class leader would be a big deal for any five-year-old kid. For Ian, who is used to playing second fiddle to his older twin brother and sister, Alex and Bina, being selected as the first fiddle was even more special. Ian’s exuberance caught my attention.

“Really? Class leader? That’s a big ...

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