Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teaching Citizenship - beyond rules

Have a look at the Leadership on Location Posters École Edwards Elementary students and teachers developed and posted around their school.  If we are all leaders, what do leaders do on the playground?  How can I be a leader on the school bus?  Is there such thing as being a leader in the bathroom?

You can download and print the posters here to large format. I typically send the files to the Staples Copy and Print Centre online and select poster size 20"x30". They cost $20. a print, Staples has a $15. poster sale about once or twice a year. I have heard there is more reasonable printing rates elsewhere, suggestions have been Costco and Superstore. I did some trimming to fit them into $10. frames (from Ikea). The document has all 26 posters and is a large file - just a warning, it may take some time to download.

This slideshare shows some of the posters. Students decided what the bullet points should include.

Using the Covey 7 habits of happy kids as guiding principles, and keeping in mind the new mission and vision the school had developed, students gathered, sorted, edited, and revised specific behavour goals for various locations around the school.  Their writing was made into posters that are mounted throughout the school.

Students and visitors can easily see the leadership and citizenship goals of the school.  The posters don't change behaviour.  They don't replace sound teaching, regular review, and authentic modeling.  They simply remind anyone who walks the halls that leadership is not some grandiose and elite club reserved for prime ministers and principals.

Come to Edwards to find the leader in you. 
Leave Edwards a leader for life.


The photos used on the posters are creative commons licensed and are footnoted along the bottom.  Were we to do it again we would use students artwork instead.  I created the posters in Pages, the publishing program from the iWork suite for Apple.  It's a glorious and intuitive program that makes it easier than you might think to create your own "belles-feuilles"!

Madame Shannon Wiebe is a teacher, tweeter, parent, blogger, and leader in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

This post was inspired by an interesting take on using (and not using) behaviour charts for students in the classroom written by Miss Night, a kindergarten teacher I follow on twitter.  I love being forced to rethink common practice because of an honest and practical blog post like this one  What is the goal?  Am I teaching a skill?  Is there a better way to teach the skill of behaviour and citizenship?

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