Posted Date: 09/15/2022
COPPERAS COVE, TX (September 15, 2022)—According to Deborah Norville’s new book, The Power of Respect, 79 percent of Americans say a lack of respect and courtesy is a problem among U.S. citizens. Sixty percent of those say the problem is getting worse. However, House Creek Elementary second graders in teacher Stefanie Seaver’s class offered a variety of simple solutions to being good citizens and showing respect within their social communities.
“Always help old people,” said student Kadrianna Gallow.
“Do not run in the hallways and do not push,” said student Sebastian Bullock.
“Help animals, except for snakes,” said student Zyla Martin. “My family does not like snakes.”
Copperas Cove ISD implements a cultural citizen approach through its character education program to instill citizenship in students. All CCISD teachers incorporate the development of relationships of mutual trust and respect within society.
“My students learn how to be effective and positive members of their own communities both at home and at school,” Seaver said. “Students learned that their own classroom is a community and how important it is to be respectful and nice to each other. They learned that you never know if the other person is having a bad day or a good day, so it important to always be kind and that you can turn a frown upside down.”
After learning what a community is and then talking about responsibilities as good citizens, students brainstormed in small groups the ways to show responsibility at home, in the classroom, at school, and in the local community. After completing an anchor chart, they shared their thoughts with the class and gave peers an opportunity to provide additional input.
“It was rewarding to see students show their work to peers with pride. Everyone was eager to participate and talk about what they wrote. Students were able successfully give examples of being responsible and at the same time building up self-confidence to talk in front of the class,” Seaver said. “Working in groups and presenting their learning to peers are important because these teach good communication and teach students confidence. My goal is to grow confident learners who take responsibility in their own learning.”
Surveys from the MORI Institute for Citizenship show that students ages 11-16 ranked that respecting others is the most important contributor to being a good citizen. The other top five factors included looking after the environment, obeying the law, being a good parent, and volunteering in the community.