Day 19: Give Students Ownership Over Certain Tasks

“I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.”

John 15:15

Christ was not a task-master. He didn’t control everything his disciples did. He doesn’t control us now. He gives us ownership. He gives us the freedom to choose to follow his way and take up our own cross.

In a similar way, religious educators who are servant-leaders will find great joy and relief in giving ownership over to their students.

Ownership, along with feelings of competence and relatedness, is one of the core human desires according to self-determination theory proposed by psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. The hypothesis is that as human beings we crave ownership and the ability to have freedom in our lives. The application for education is to cultivate this need for ownership among our students. (Read more about ownership on page 97 of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator.)

Another bonus to giving students ownership is that we are able to hand over jobs and responsibilities that take up our time as religious educators. Reference the suggested jobs that you can give to students from pages 98-99 and make a note to assign these jobs at your next class meeting.

Write the job on the board and the name of a student next to that job. Rotate these each week as you begin to add more jobs. You might also utilize bulletin boards in your room to assign jobs each week or month.