What does it mean to be part of a community?
We are looking at this in our class again at the moment, a very ongoing key comp. I realised pretty early on this term that there needed to be a real sense of class community built with my class. Not just the usual class culture and expectations, but the fact that we are composed differently to other classes in our school - we are a composite class.
We already make up different groups within the class as usual - we are different family organisations, different races and religions, different ages and sizes, different abilities, different learners. But we are also different year levels. Some of the children in our class are the role models as Year 4's while the other half are brand new to the Middle School and need lots of support to integrate and become part of a new and more challenging learning community.
Our class brainstormed what 'community' means to us...we looked at what our community in our class, local area and country look like. Who are we, the people that comprise this community and draw from so many different paths?
It has really helped to support the key competency of Participating and Contributing - what do we contribute to our class community? We have *been drawn together for the purpose of learning and this is the community that we are a part of together. We decided that our learning is '*best supported when we contribute appropriately as a group member, make connections with other and create opportunities for others in the group (*TKI website), but we also took this apart and looked at what this means to us - what does participating and contributing look like in OUR classroom?
To build a community, it is vital that we accept all of the members of that community as equals yet as deeply different. We have looked at who we all in our class - both as individuals and as a part of the wider community. I believe that we are well on our way to becoming an awesome community of lifelong learners!