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Responsibility: More than just a spelling word

As a teacher, instilling a sense of responsibility in the children we work with is just as important a part of our job as any element of the current curriculum. Not only will it create more rounded individuals who are ready for life outside the classroom, it can also make our job much easier when kids take responsibility for their learning, behaviour, belongings and actions. Here are some top tips for encouraging responsibility in school for you to think about:

  1. Give them opportunities to contribute to school development

Kids love being able to feel a part of something bigger, so having projects and initiatives within school that helps them feel they are making a difference will help them to take responsibility more often. Eco teams who lead on projects like wildflower gardens or recycling will inevitably pick up rubbish at playtime and encourage others to do the same.

  1. Allow them to have a say

Kids who feel that their opinion is listened to and appreciated are more likely to take ownership of certain issues. If your school is struggling with uniform compliance, talk to the class about how they suggest you encourage more children to wear the right clothes to school. If you’re planning a refurb of the playground but are worried about graffiti, discuss this with the children and get them to become invested in the project.

  1. Let them bring their valuables

Banning phones and other high value items from schools conveys that we don’t trust our kids, and if they are already not trusted, what’s the point in trying to be responsible? Instead, let them bring those things they love to school, and give them somewhere secure and accessible to store it when its time for class. Our Atlas lockers are specially designed for schools, offering easy access for smaller children and allowing them to take responsibility for their personal belongings themselves.

  1. Let them suffer the consequences

All too often kids can neglect their responsibilities and get away with it, because an adult will be there to pick up the pieces. Instead of phoning mum when a PE kit is forgotten, let them suffer the consequence which could be either missing out on PE entirely or having to make up a kit from lost property. If the tidying is not done by playtime, advise the class that everyone misses play until it has been done, rather than getting it done yourself.

  1. Assign positions of responsibility within the classroom

Who can understand the excitement of being the register monitor or pencil collector to a young child? It’s thrilling to have a position of responsibility, no matter how small, and by appointing someone to be ‘in charge’ for a week at a time can help children feel more invested in the processes at school. If you’ve got particular issues in your class, perhaps with tidying up, hanging coats or using bins, creating a role to be responsible for this which is rotated around the class can be highly effective in changing behaviours.

Our customers have fed back to us that having lockers in schools can be highly beneficial for promoting self-responsibility. Our Atlas lockers have been specifically designed for younger children, offering a lower height and easy locking functions that even primary school pupils can manage. They are also ideal for wheelchair users. For more advice on lockers in schools or any of our products, get in touch today.

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Last Modified / Updated on: July 10, 2018 at 6:35 pm