From the time you drop them off in the classroom in the morning until you pick them up at the end of the day, the children are expected to be independent, responsible and motivated individuals. They put on their own shoes, tidy up after themselves, push in their chairs, put on their outside things, make decisions about what to eat for snack and where its best to sit during carpet time. Their work is their own and they are accountable for doing their best at all times. I don't do for the children what they can do for themselves. They are also responsible for making sure their choices do not adversely affect someone else in our classroom. The children know they can make wise decisions for themselves and feel competent, especially when their accomplishments are reinforced, encouraged and appreciated. Most of the time the children manage this all wonderfully on their own but there are situations during the day that require adult help or reminders and that is to be expected as responsibility is not something acquired automatically at a certain age. It is attained slowly over many years. And, for the most part, they are thrilled to be given responsibility. We have a list of rotating jobs on the wall and I have yet to hear one child complain that it is their turn to do something. Rather, they check the list and hop up and down when they see their name on it. If a student is absent there are many volunteers to take charge of the job. And there is never any shortage of happy helpers if someone else needs a hand with something. Happy helpers means everyone is happy!
I have taught many grades, including high school, but LOVE teaching primary.