Stewardship of resources, responsibility, empathy, work ethic. These characteristics are important, and I hear educators rightfully name them as essential skills. Why don’t we schools incorporate daily custodianship and campus care into our routines? I am sure some schools do, but many do not. Hour a day? Rotating chores for admin, students, faculty? Brooms, mops, hedge trimmers as another 1:1 idea?
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I think this is a great idea. Two schools that make this a powerful part of their ethos are the Putney School Work Program and theThatcher School Horse Program. Of course, it helps that both of these are boarding schools. I also really like your idea of having everyone participate in the jobs program—I can remember when a hurricane hit St. Andrew’s, and everyone, from the headmaster down spent the day working to clean up the damage to the campus. It was an incredible for bonding as a community, and when the day was complete, and the campus was far more beautiful than it had been, I think students were left with a sense of accomplishment that your average school day can’t match.
John, thanks so much for the actual school examples. I believe that chores are an invaluable aspect of being a part of a family and community. When we see the responsibilities as “ours” and not “theirs,” then we become the owners and stewards of the space and resources. We begin to see things we neglected and took for granted before. But it takes a systemic, school-wide approach, I think. Otherwise, it pits some against others, instead of “we are all in this together.”