Social responsibility is a mindset. The learning environment at Sunnybrook promotes students to naturally become socially responsible. As the world around us changes, it is more important than ever for students to cooperate with others to benefit others, the community and the world. Firstly, we nurture social responsibility by fostering an environment that promotes fairness and positive social connections with opportunities for students to learn and model ways to be kind and include others. For example, teachers can encourage students to feel responsible for their actions, help others and seek assistance when in need. At recess, we encourage our students to help each other out and cooperate to resolve conflicts. They are being socially responsible by contributing to the greater good of a group. We create a classroom environment with clear rules and expectations where the students are part of the process of creating the “essential agreement” in order for the class to be a safe place to learn.
Sunnybrook also fosters students to be socially responsible in the community. From Junior Kindergarten we model and explicitly teach that being socially responsible shows us that we can create a more positive world by making positive personal choices on a daily basis. Through our actions, PYP Exhibition and community service, we contribute to a positive change and benefit others. For instance, when the students commit to being a net zero carbon free school, participate in becoming a certified EcoSchool, and have Meatless Mondays, this changes the mindset from “we can’t do anything” to “small changes do make a difference in the world”. Social responsibility reminds us that we are all connected and that our individual decisions matter. It doesn’t mean students need to concern themselves with every social issue across the globe. It simply means that students must adopt a broad perspective and learn to understand the ripple effects that one’s actions can have.