5 Strategies for Teaching Student Responsibility


As middle school and high school teachers, our classrooms are full of young, budding students who are adjusting to a mature school career in which teachers don't hand-hold, emphasize syllables in a verbal spelling test, or allow attempt after attempt on a failed assignment that the dog ate. It isn't easy! It is our responsibility as teachers to develop lesson plans that not only teach content but also responsibility, accountability, career skills, people skills, and more. Focusing on academic knowledge alone gets the job done, but we are still failing our students by forgoing life skills and responsibility in the classroom. Fostering these "non-academic" skills will not only produce a student with good grades, but with well-rounded life skills as well.

Start off the new school year with great strategies under your belt for teaching student responsibility. Helping your middle or high school students learn about responsibility and accountability can help them better prepare for their careers or their futures. #teaching #responsibility #lessons #lessonplans #tpt #students #teachers

While teaching life skills, responsibility, and accountability to our students is necessary, it can be difficult. Using these 5 incredible strategies for teaching student responsibility will help teachers to integrate lessons on responsibility into their regular content-centered lesson plans. As the old adage goes, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for life. Teaching your students responsibility will not only make your job and their studies easier, but will also set them up for success in life. 

5 Incredible Strategies for Teaching Student Responsibility

1. Keeping & Organizing a Class Notebook or Interactive Notebook

When combined with other engaging lessons, including components below used to foster responsibility, an Interactive Notebook can be a great tool for teaching student responsibility! If used correctly, the IN encourages mind mapping, provides clear expectations for classwork, and requires students to remain responsible and on-task throughout the semester.


2. Classroom jobs

Classroom jobs are elevated beyond elementary ideas of line leader and door holder. You can teach responsibility to your students by delegating jobs like taking attendance, managing classroom supplies and books, controlling external distractions, keeping the class on task, and assisting the teacher. 


3. Homework

Homework buzzes continuously as a hot topic in the teaching world, but the truth remains. Assigning homework, and expecting students to actually complete it thoroughly and on time, instills a sense of responsibility. Don't allow your students every excuse in the book to miss deadlines or turn in half-completed assignments.


4. Group Leadership & Collaboration

One of the most sure-fire methods to encouraging responsibility is to make a student responsible for the success of others. Using these group leadership and collaboration tactics can ensure the growth of student responsibility in your classroom.

Café Conversations
By highlighting conflicting opinions in a small group setting, students are provided with a perspective on a topic or lesson that differs from their own. This teaching strategy works well when the teacher assigns perspectives that will open a dialogue and encourage students to consider the information they must present from an unbiased point of view.

Human Timeline
Bring a boring, two-dimensional timeline to life by assigning content and dates to each of your students and having them physically stand in chronological order. Not only will this engage students and get them out of their seats, requiring cooperation and collaboration among them, but it will help retention of "boring" dates.

Graffiti Boards
Graffiti may be illegal on the streets but it's quite beneficial in the classroom. Graffiti boards are a central place for student collaboration. Students write questions or comments on the graffiti board, allowing others to take responsibility and provide answers, ask follow-up questions, or consider new perspectives and opinions.

5. Presentations

Just as the pieces of a puzzle fit together perfectly, providing the viewer with a complete picture, your students can become the pieces of a figurative jigsaw puzzle in your classroom. Have each student learn about a certain topic or sub-topic and then collaborate with the rest of the class, disseminating the information to their classmates. Having students become an authority on a specific idea or topic instills in them the gravity of their participation for the success of their friends and classmates.


Bonus Resources!

For more ideas, check out Teaching Students Responsibility, Teaching Strategies that Instruct Responsibility and Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning! Also, encourage your students to take an active part in their learning experience, which will further foster responsibility, by taking a Student Survey.

Also check out the Facing History website for more teaching strategies that can foster student responsibility and other critical classroom skills!

There are unlimited resources online that can help to build student responsibility in your classroom, but the greatest indicator of a successful classroom is commitment from both the teacher and students. Teaching your students the importance of their responsibility and then incorporating these requirements into your curriculum will ensure that your students will be more responsible by year's end. Use these 5 strategies for teaching student responsibility to foster a sense of class-wide responsibility. 



Start off the new school year with great strategies under your belt for teaching student responsibility. Helping your middle or high school students learn about responsibility and accountability can help them better prepare for their careers or their futures. #teaching #responsibility #lessons #lessonplans #tpt #students #teachers
Happy Teaching!
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Michele Luck
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