Many schools have realized that the key to building responsibile citizens is to have students look internally at the beliefs and values that they hold. It is a common sight to see the agreements that have been created with students about their values displayed prominently at the entrance to a school.
One of the things that can be tricky is ensuring that every student feels that they are a part of these agreements, and that they believe in the values that are posted up there on the wall. The above picture is a great example of a way that one school addressed this concern.
The tree was painted on the wall in the hallway. Discussions occurred regularly about the fact that our beliefs and values are what “root” us, and help us to “grow” to be the people we want to be. The school had an assembly where the students broke into groups and discussed the values they think are most important. These were then cut out of construction paper and placed on the roots. Each student also cut their handprint out of construction paper, glued their picture on it, and put it up on the tree. The values and the students can be changed from year to year, but the tree can remain a consistent reminder of the fact that beliefs are what guide us.
Does anyone else out there have ideas of other ways of creating these agreements? Comment below, and let’s share our knowledge!