Teaching Citizenship in Elementary School by Promoting the Three R's: Responsibility, Respect and Readiness to Learn

September 17, 2015

I am fairly new to my school district.  They have a positive behavior system that is charted out very much like the one above.  The behaviors listed are all behaviors we hope our children to acquire and use as adult citizens.

 

It is one thing to ask students to be responsible, respectful and ready to learn.  It is another to model, drill and train them until the behaviors become second nature.  We are in our fourth week of school.  I am amazed to still be hearing how students can display their responsibility, respect and readiness to learn in all situations.  A paper cut-out of our mascot is given to students who obviously display any one of the three r’s.  It is done discreetly.  Their cut-outs are given to the principal’s secretary and their names are announced on the morning show the next day.  There is a monthly draw for something a little bigger.  It’s simple, not elaborate or time consuming and it works!  The primary students eat the attention up and eagerly pursue it.  The intermediate students just keep the great behavior going.  The result is a real community feel.  And I am proud to say no bullying exists at my school!

 

The emphasis on responsibility builds empathy and appreciation for the school environment, school personnel and students alike.  The emphasis on respect teaches students the social graces needed to get through life safely and appropriately.  Last, but not least, emphasizing readiness is the foundation for building a good work ethic.  As this is Citizenship Day, what more could we ask of our children than to be responsible, respectful and ready?  What a great start to life!

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