Thursday, December 10, 2009
I've been reflecting on the importance of inspiring a sense of community and responsibility towards the group in the children at school. I'm interested in presenting or bringing to the children's attention a grace and courtesy lesson, book or true story daily that meditates on some aspect of life as part of a group. Or finding further ways of incorporating this idea into our daily routine.
I often feel like I'd like to emphasize the ideas of helpfulness/community/respect/generosity/kindness, but sometimes find the topics too daunting or too vague to approach practically.
Specific activities we do already to inspire a sense of community:
- We have times during the week when we all sit together and children have the opportunity to share something they brought from home or tell a story about something related to their home.
- At some point in the mornings we come together as a group and sing a song and recognize the absence of whoever is not at school that day. (To emphasize that even though you are not there, you are still a part of the group)
- At lunch we join hands and sing a "Community Song" before we eat.
- We have a set of "Community cards" that have a picture and the name of all the children and staff members of our school. We use them on special occasions (birthdays, important gatherings) and they are available for the children to look at individually as well. (They live on the peace shelf)
Things I'd like to do more of:
- Involve the children as a group in problem solving or decision making related to our life together in the classroom.
- Find books, and tell true stories related to life together as a group.
- Reflect back to the children verbally more of what I see that is positive about our day together in the classroom.
- Start a "heart journal" where anyone can write something positive that happened to them that day and read the entries at the end of the week.
I'd greatly appreciate any ideas/feedback on further ways of incorporating a sense of community in our daily routine!