Handing over responsibility

Marie Smith, Diggs-Latham Elementary

I was leading a third grade recorder class recently. The children were quite rambunctious and weren’t focusing as well as I had hoped. I knew some of the problem was that about half of the class had mastered the pass-off piece that we were working on and they were getting bored.

After attempting a few more minutes of leading the full group, I decided to try a different approach. I paired each student who still needed to pass off the tune with another student who had completed the task and asked them to teach each other. 

As I roamed between groups, I saw an increased level of focus and the majority of the class had passed off the tune by the end of the period. It was so great to see these students step up to the responsibility of teaching and perform so admirably. An amazing sense of camaraderie encapsulated the class and their overflowing energy was redirected to constructive learning and teaching. 

We instruct in the arts, but I love that we also get opportunities to teach teamwork, leadership, and responsibility. 

April 20, 2017