Tenet 3: We are all part of our classroom family community.

A key starting point when establishing your class, family, or community is helping students identify themselves as individual and separate from others, but to also see the similarities they share. “Put up your hand if you have 2 arms, 1 nose…”

For example: “You are very special; there are so many wonderful things about you and I love you very much. You are important to me and to our class. Now look beside you, you see the person there… they are important and special too. Now look around our whole circle… every person here is important and they/we all want to feel safe and happy at school. We need to make sure that we are keeping our class a safe and happy place.”

We need them to be able to identify with one another. This is a very important first step, especially at the beginning of the year.

Over time we start to see the differences. Someone can do something while another can’t, and that’s ok. We’re all learning.

“Do you remember when you couldn’t get your boots on? And now you can!”

Sometimes the progress is intangible, so it’s not recognized. But we still need to recognize it anyway: “When you were a baby, you couldn’t stand or walk, and now look what you can do!”

Most kids don’t start off critical of other people.