Week 21

Responsibility

"To answer for your actions."

Expanded Definition

Responsibility is the action or decision that an individual is accountable for. It is also the obligation to complete tasks or fulfill roles to the best of one's ability. To take responsibility, one must stay true to one's commitments and own up to the consequences of one's actions.

Etymology

The word “responsibility” is a combination of the English adjective “responsible” and the nominative suffix “-ity.” Responsible comes from the Anglo-French responsable, which is from the Latin responsabilis, meaning "respond, answer to."

Classroom Strategies

To raise responsible individuals, it is essential to implement effective classroom strategies. Integrate the strategies prepared below to instill a sense of accountability in students. By teaching students how to interact in the world responsibly, they develop important decision-making skills that will serve them well in the future.

  1. Establish classroom duties: Create a chart with a list of classroom duties (e.g., erasing the board, collecting papers, watering plants, etc.). Assign each student a task and rotate them weekly. This not only helps maintain the classroom but also instills a sense of responsibility.

  2. Assign important roles to students: Assign different roles to students, such as Classroom Monitor, Cleanliness Monitor, Homework Checker, etc. Rotate these roles every week or month to instill a sense of responsibility and teamwork.

  3. Teach students to set goals: Have students set personal and academic goals at the beginning of the school year, and check in regularly on their progress. This can help instill a sense of accountability and responsibility for their own development.

  4. Ask students to journal their progress and challenges: Have students maintain a journal where they reflect on their actions and decisions, both positive and negative, and the consequences of those actions. This will teach them that every action they choose has consequences and an impact on themselves and others.

  5. Establish a Classroom Code of Conduct: At the beginning of the year, create a classroom agreement with rules and expectations that the students come up with and agree upon. Having a say in their classroom rules will instill a sense of ownership and responsibility.

  6. Create a Time Management Plan: Have students plan out their week, allocating time for school, homework, chores, and leisure activities. This helps them understand the role of time in acting responsibly.

  7. Ask students to maintain a clean space: Allocate the last few minutes of each class for students to clean up their area, put away supplies, and straighten chairs.

  8. Engage them in activities that require a partner: Pair students with differing strengths and weaknesses so they can help each other in areas where they struggle or excel. With this partnership, students can learn that their actions have a direct impact on others.

  9. Start a classroom garden: Create a small classroom garden where students can take charge of watering, weeding, and taking care of the plants.

  10. Facilitate class presentations: Have students present a topic of their choice that is related to responsibility (e.g., environmental responsibility, digital responsibility, etc.).

Schools and educators also have a duty to instill responsibility in students, not just parents. As students spend a great portion of their time in school, educators must create opportunities where students can practice being reliable and true to their commitments. Implement these strategies in your classroom and equip your students with the essential life skill of owning up to their actions and decisions. Prepare them for the real world and lead them to the path to success!

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