How to work values with children in the classroom

Most educators agree that helping students develop and work on values is a worthwhile goal, such as compassion, courtesy, cooperation, responsibility, fairness, tolerance, self-control, courage, knowledge, citizenship, perseverance, kindness, honesty or respect towards oneself, towards others, towards the elderly, towards authority figures or towards the environment.

 

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How educators can instill these values in the classroom

  • As an educator, think about the people who have influenced your life and your career. Make a list of the values they possessed and why they inspired you.
  • Get together with other members of the school and develop a list of virtues that everyone can support. Get their commitment to work positive values in the classroom in all disciplines and activities , or do it during a specific time throughout the week or month with special projects.
  • Strive to create and / or support a responsive school community that cares for all children, regardless of their achievements and differences.
  • Think about the most important values that you want to work on and think of creative dynamics that children may like and encourage their participation.
  • Challenge children to display remarkable character traits. Also reinforce the positive actions of each day by highlighting and commenting on them. For example: “Carla, when you welcomed the new student to the class and offered your help, you were very kind and empathetic.”
  • Develop your own communication skills, always be consistent and send clear messages. Also always respectfully listen to the ideas of your students and answer all their questions.
  • Read, discuss, and act out stories that teach commendable character traits. Have the children draw pictures, make up games, songs, or their own stories about characters who also represent values, such as superheroes. As a class project, design and produce a mural that represents the virtues each child draws from their favorite characters worthy of imitation.

 

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  • Set high but reasonable academic standards for yourself and your students. Be respectful and honest in your relationships and academic work, and inspire learning through your own knowledge and enthusiasm.
  • Encourage students to develop and practice positive and good behavior with each other. Create a chart of “Nice and positive things that have happened” and write down each good deed and remarkable behavior of the little ones. Celebrate the results at the end of each week.
  • Look for opportunities to role-play and act out situations that help students understand the perspectives of others and develop empathy. For example, create fictitious but plausible situations such as: “A boy dropped his lunch tray in the cafeteria or a girl did not catch the ball in gym class. Put the students in each created situation and help them to identify the feelings of the protagonists of each story and to seek solutions with kindness and respect.
  • Share your time, talents, and belongings with them. Look for complementary activities such as volunteering or visiting the elderly.
  • Study and comment on biographies of prominent people such as María Montessori, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Ana Frank, Louis Pasteur, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King … This will serve to later ask the students what values they developed or applied to their lives and also so that they know to relevant characters in history. You can also help them list strengths or virtues of their peers.

 

 

How to work on values in the classroom

  • Ask each student to be a reporter and interview an older person in their environment. They should make a list of questions to ask, such as: “What was life like when you were a child?”, “Who was the most important person in your life?”, “Can you talk about a special vacation memory? “,” Where were you or what were you doing when I was born? “,” When you think about your life, what makes you feel most proud? “,” Is there something you would have done differently if you could have? “.
  • Have each student draw a picture or write a report about the person interviewed and collect all the papers and data in a notebook or decorated box.
  • Look for age-appropriate projects to help children develop decision-making skills in a timely and realistic way. Always consider children’s ages and abilities when doing homework.
  • Involve children in making classroom rules , create clear rules, and comply with consequences for skipping them.
  • When disputes arise, help students come to a pleasant and always respectful solution.
  • It teaches tenacity and effort so that the assigned jobs can always be completed. This will help to be responsible every day a little more.
  • Involve parents and grandparents in holding special school dynamics , activities, or parties to create a great supportive community.

 

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Finally, it may also be a good idea to remind parents that they are their children’s role models. Therefore, for children to develop positive character traits, it is necessary for the adults in their lives to live and practice the values they hold dear , as well as to build loving relationships with their family and with their environment. After all, family is always the beginning and the place to learn to be.

 

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