Cooperation In School
Understanding others to effectively work with them
To practice Cooperation I will:
- find a way to help
- genuinely listen to others’ opinions and needs
- respect the decisions of my authorities
- pull my share of the load
- see the needs of other as quickly as I see my own
‘The Many Forms of Cooperation’
– Jill Tomey
Cooperation in the classroom is a powerful tool for teaching Character. Understanding others so you can effectively work with them is a key component of building a community within the class and the school. When students feel connected and accepted as part of this community, they are less likely to want to hurt the community and more likely to want to help others.
Cooperation can take many forms. Sharing toys and allowing others to play is a fundamental skill. Playing games and taking turns requires patience and understanding. Cooperating in these small settings builds trust for cooperating on larger projects.
Group work is another example of using Cooperation to help build community. It is important that students know their group members as well as be comfortable with them. Trust, built through other exercises, will make project work more enjoyable, productive and build even more trust.
Working together to accomplish a goal, especially when it is something that would be difficult to do alone, builds a connection with others and confidence within the students. Being a part of something larger than yourself gives a student a sense of being connected to others and valued. The goal can be as simple as playing a board game (very few can be played by a single individual) to an academic project divided up among group members and presented as a whole.
This month, how will you use Cooperation to build community in your classroom?