Friday, February 20, 2015

Building Personal Responsibility with our Students

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of." -Jim Rohn
Ms Linda Dempsey and Mr Gregg O'Neill recently talked about the subject of personal and communal responsibility in our school. Two key areas as identified by Gregg were Responsibility in our class rooms and demonstrating responsibility in our wider CBC community. It was commented by Gregg that developing a sense of responsibility in our students would promote greater engagement, improve behaviour, create a sense of pride in self and the group and improve quality of work. Some of the actions currently undertaken by teachers to promote responsibility in the class room are:
(1) Students designing their own posters and you tube videos for learning (2) More autonomy given to students over project work (3) Peer to peer learning between students (4) Designing spaces in our school using Communication, collaborating, designing and organising to see a finished outcome.
Ms Dempsey talked about developing a greater sense of responsibility with students throughout the school by giving key roles of responsibility to students. These roles included:
Environmental issues, canteen duties, looking after locker rooms and taking class rolls.
She believed that students need to apply in writing and go through an interview process to attain these roles. Also students would need training days to help them in their roles. These roles can be developed from first to sixth year in our school! These rolls need to given great importance and prestige within our school in order for them to be developed and respected fully within our school community.

Personal and Communal Responsibility is a topic currently under discussion in the Learning Revolution. If you have thoughts on this subject please feel free to let us know!

Introduction to the Restorative Process

Ms Alice O'Connor recently gave a talk to our group on "Restorative Practices" (RP). The aim of RP is "to develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm and building relationships."

Alice spoke to us about how RP is a way of being and the intention is for us to use it as a guide for the way we act in all our dealings within our families, schools and communities.

The practice involves the building of relationships within groups, addressing challenging behaviour and using tools to pro-actively build relationships as well as manage conflict. Alice shared one tool that teachers can use straight away which was to use the acronym to FRESH to foster a RP approach to our classroom:

For more information regarding Restorative Practices talk to Ms Alice O'Connor.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New "Merit Card System"

This new idea of a merit card system as suggested by Ms Kate Lorigan aims at rewarding students for demonstrating personal and communal responsibility, positive behaviour and respect for themselves and other students/teachers in CBC. We already have "Red Cards" given for negative behaviour.

The "Green Card", aims to reinforce positive behaviour and character traits among our students from first to sixth year. These are life skills that are important to encourage in todays world.