Last week, we talked a lot about how to show initiative in the classroom and school. I explained to the boys and girls that within our little community, when they see a problem they can (within reason) solve (e.g. sweeping up a mess they didn't create) they are invited to do so. Asking me, "Mrs. M, would you like me to hand back those agendas?" is another way children can show initiative in the classroom. Taking it upon oneself to tidy up some papers on an absent classmate's desk shows initiative, so does straightening up the carpet pillows while waiting for Evening Meeting to begin. These are all safe and reasonable ways children can begin to develop their leadership skills.
On Thursday, we talked about another important trait: being accountable for our actions. I explained that when we're accountable, we accept responsibility for what we've done, apologize if necessary and don't blame others for our actions (e.g. "She did it too" or "It was his idea"). We also don't deny what we've done as this causes confusion for others, especially teachers and parents.
Being accountable means being responsible and owning our...um...less than "5-star"decisions (guess who's been shopping on Amazon?).
I believe that even in grade three, children can develop their leadership skills. By explicitly teaching kids how to show initiative and role playing accountable talk, we can (and I know this sounds cliche) help children be the best version of themselves, but we also provide them with a foundation on which to build even stronger skills, and those are the people that change the world. If you can admit you were wrong when you're 8 and fully own and apologize for the decision to eat the teacher's lunch, AND you think to organize an absent classmate's desktop full of papers, what does that look like when you're 18? While you might have a hard time keeping your hands off someone else's sandwich, you're likely a person who is confident, compassionate, creative, dependable and responsible.
And of course, we have Brag Tags for this!