Creating Classroom Principles

We all know that students of all ages have principles, ways they want to be remembered. I’ve worked with students of all types and ages as a Guidance Counsellor. Every student wanted to do well as a student and friend and classmate. We also know that adults generally are very quick to tell students what their principles should be. Unfortunately, we miss the opportunity to empower students when we tell them how they should live their life, what their principles should be. My suggestion is to ask them what they want their principles to be, how they think we should behave towards each other in our community. It’s amazing what they come up with intrinsically. The list will likely be exactly what you would have told them to have and/or better. Caution, do not give them hints or advise them. Younger students might do better if you read them a few Childrens’ Books about mistakes that characters make and then ask them what principle would have helped them be the character they want to be.

Note the following suggestions if you want the students to get energized and be successful in their creative process:

  • What are your family principles?
  • What are your rules at home and why?
  • How do you want me to treat you?
  • How do you want me to remember you?
  • Who are your heroes? What qualities do you admire in your hero?
  • What principles are often found in music hits, the music the students listen to?
  • What principles do the characters live by in movies, stories, history personelle?
  • What are your favourite quotes? What are the principles in your quotes that you admire and try to live by?

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