Student citizenship: Leading by example is the essence of integrity

As stated by our Headmaster, Mr Condon, in his recent blog post, one of our school goals this year is the promotion of student citizenship.  As Mr Condon pointed out, there are three aspects of this goal: behavior in school, behavior in the community, and behavior online.

With regard to behavior online, we have a new Responsible Use Policy (replacing the previous “Acceptable Use Policy”) this year, which connects directly with the IB Learner Profile.  This policy can be found on the CA Website.  All students have signed the policy, and in doing so, have agreed to abide by the commitments listed within.  The new policy has been helpful for raising student awareness regarding inappropriate behavior, and for holding students to a particular standard.  Thanks go to Mrs Lemley and the Technology Department for developing the policy.

In terms of behavior within the school, whilst many agree that student behavior is reasonable at CA, we can still improve in this regard.  Some questions come to mind.  Does every student take responsibility for cleaning their space in the cafeteria after lunch; are we polite to each other in the hallways; are our interactions respectful; are we mindful of how our actions are affecting others?

General opinion would tend to agree that CA students’ reputation in the local community is the main area where we need to improve.  Students and teachers agree that we need to raise awareness among students regarding what constitutes good behavior in public.  We should also be proactive: use our high profile to our advantage and get out there and help improve Rokko Island in any way we can: we could also engage in service opportunities in conjunction with the local community.

What can teachers, parents, and student leaders do to promote student citizenship?  We can raise awareness, we can enforce rules, we can initiate activities.  On a more continuous basis, though, we need to be modeling citizenship, through respectful interactions, politely greeting each other, being helpful to others as necessary.  As our core value states, “Leading by example is the essence of integrity.”  This may well be our most powerful tool in improving student citizenship.


About eadurkin

Originally a HS Mathematics teacher from New Zealand, currently working as Associate Principal in the Secondary School at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe, Japan. Married with two children.
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