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Helping Kids Take Responsibility for Their Learning

You know that doing homework is important, and getting projects in on time. You feel good about the A’s your student in getting, but you still worry about sending them off to college one day where you won’t be able to check in on them! No matter how old your child is now, you can help them take responsibility for their learning so that they’ll be successful when you’re not around to ask if they’re done with school work.

Here’s what some fantastic teachers from around the country suggested when I asked what students could do to take responsibility at the beginning of the school year:

“Of themselves. Take responsibility when you make a mistake. Take responsibility when you hurt someone’s feelings. Take responsibility if you failed at something. Take responsibility for not following directions. We all are imperfect. Most rules, either in school or in society, are about accepting responsibility for your actions and words. Having students understand this in the beginning of the year with help foster a classroom of personal growth, as they feel more comfortable to make mistakes, and of community growth, as they will feel more comfortable taking risks in front of their peers.”

“The number 1 thing students can take responsibility for at the beginning of the year is learning their classmates/teacher’s names. It seems simple but every year I am shocked to find out not everyone knows each person’s name. We don’t all have to be best friends but calling someone by their name is not only kind, but shows respect.”

“The number one thing that kids can take responsibility for during the beginning of the year and coming into middle school is not taking out their cell phones during school hours and that is hard, no TikTok or other distractions- be present and take part of our school community! Oh, and please be kind – be kind with your words, actions and try to include new kids!”

“Take responsibility for your learning! That is your primary job – I am not naive enough to think that is the only job of some of our students, but get up get dressed and do your best. Your best may not be 100% all the time, but give me what you’ve got!”

“Being an active participator in their education is the number one thing kids can take responsibility for right away! The more you put into it (discussions, activities, team builders, etc) the more you get out of it (broadening your horizons, learning more, making connections both academically and socially, etc.).”

How can you help your student take responsibility for their learning? Share with us! Special thanks to the fantastic teachers I interviewed for helping me with my September Back-to-School series!

Originally posted on on September 26, 2022

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