Students Need to Feel Useful and Important

Giving students jobs and responsibilities in the classroom is a great idea. It’s something that many early years educators already do.

“Asking preschoolers for help not only promotes kindness, empathy, and a sense of purpose, it also underscores a sense of responsibility and investment in the family, the community, and the world. When they are at an age where they are figuring out how they fit into the world at large, giving preschoolers the ability to help adults will contribute to their sense of importance, usefulness, and purpose.”

Continuing to give students chores and responsibility in the classroom is beneficial for a number of reasons.

“As preschoolers grow, we want to give them the clues to be not only independent but also responsible human beings. We want to instill in them the value of being someone others can count on: someone who keeps their word, meets their commitments, does things to the best of their ability, and is accountable. Being responsible also means learning to contribute as a functioning member of the family, community, and society, which is why it is a key to a child’s future success.”

Angela C. Santomero gives us a few hints on how we can do this in her excellent book, Preschool Clues. 

She write that chores should be

  • simple
  • easily repeatable
  • highly visible
  • easy to do while also being a challenge to master
  • important to the family [classroom] but not punished if not done

We can help our students help out other people in the community as well. This is something that we already do through things like the Terry Fox Run, but there are always other opportunities for us to help expand our students’ reach

They “can be part of helping the world through participating in things like clothing, toy, and food drives; volunteering at places like a nursing home or an animal shelter; and even raising money for a cause [they] is passionate about through a lemonade or cookie stand. With each year, we can continue to find creative ways to open up their understanding of the world around them and set the stage for their role in it.”

Let’s strive to do just that.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration from my classroom to yours.