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Bringing back responsibility

People are always trying to bring things back.  Mullets are a good example. Sort of.

I’d like to make 2023 the year that we bring personal responsibility back.  Not as cool as a mullet, but more important.  And I’ve missed it.

Let’s start by knowing our roles in fostering responsibility.  The student role is to take responsibility and practice it.  Our job is to help.  That’s it.  That’s the whole thing.

So, when:

  • A student swears at a teacher. The student’s job is to repair the relationship with that teacher.  Your job (if you’re a leader) is to help facilitate that conversation.
  • A student smashes a window by recklessly throwing a tennis ball a bit too hard. The student’s job is to clean up the mess and notify their own parents.  Your job is to gather the broom and the phone.
  • An angry student pushes another student to the ground who happened to be in the way as s/he stormed out of a classroom. The student’s job is to make that student feel safe at school once more.  Your job is to find out what that kid on the deck needs and make it possible for the perp to provide it.

It’s little more than a repeatable habit.

What you shouldn’t do is trick yourself into thinking you prioritized responsibility by lecturing about it at assembly, running a Wednesday arvo mini lesson on it or by making a naff responsibility mural (although this is a good way to supercharge student mural making capabilities).

To supercharge the development of responsibility, just tack the habit of thanking students who take responsibility onto the new habit of constantly letting them take it.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. I’m coming to Brisbane! … for a FREE 2-hour seminar, hosted by Emmanuel College on Wednesday 18th January from 1.30pm.  It’s titled ‘School Culture In Focus’ and you really should register to come along at this link.

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