Preschool Citizenship

Many things that children learn at preschool are geared toward citizenship and socialization skills. Children are naturally self aware. It is a defense mechanism that helps survival.  It is how they learn.  It is supposed to be this way.  After a child has learned a sense of self, they can be taught about citizenship.

~ Have students work with partners
A preschool teacher can assign some tasks to be completed with a study buddy.  For example, Aaron and Jenny can work together to pick up all the red blocks and put them in the box.  Then when the task is completed give the children praise for completing the task and working together.

~ Give instructions as a class
This indicates that when the community is ready something good will happen.  Everyone needs to participate.

“When everyone is standing in line, we will go outside.”

“When everyone is sitting quietly on their pockets, we will read the story.”

Rather than single out a child the teacher will continue to give the group directions until everyone is ready.

~ Give students responsibilities
A big part of good citizenship is dependability.  The only way to teach dependability is to have assignments and consequences.

Assign an individual student to pass out paper.  Thank them for helping the class and being dependable. Point out the behavior they are doing correctly.  Give them positive consequences.

~ An accepting attitude can be taught
Children may not be excited about a certain activity.  This is where a teacher can encourage them to try and enjoy the activity or at the very least not complain.  “Let’s try and use our happy words while we do this.”

“Some of us like different things, and it is good to try and enjoy everything.”

~Parents are the best asset
Encourage parents to have the child carry their own back pack.  Allow the child to pick out their own clothes.  Set a timer so the child knows when it is time to get ready.  

As children get older in school there are three main things that contribute to the citizenship grade.  These are:
Attitude – the spirit of cooperation that is shown within the classroom and on the playground.  This also includes following the rules of the classroom without complaining.
Effort – the student should be attentive and try to do his best
Dependability – the student should be on time and prepared for class

When parents, students and teachers set goals together great things can be accomplished. It is this team effort that teaches children about citizenship.