The fellowship is a friendly relationship of solidarity and cooperation among peers, for example, peers of the same school class.
The Real Academia defines fellowship based on two meanings. On the one hand, as the link that exists between partners, and in its second meaning, such as harmony and good correspondence between colleagues.
When we make a child a good companion of another, we seek to promote in him an empathic attitude of understanding, support and help in a disinterested and solidary way.
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What is Companionship
The fellowship takes its base in the collaboration of all the members of the group.
The education of companionship as a value
Every day the fact of building a more egalitarian, tolerant and inclusive society takes more importance, where all the people have the possibility of participating and contributing to the collective improvement.
In all this, education in values is very important. In education in values all fit: students, parents, teachers. The whole educational community and the whole society in general.
Values education focuses on educating in the moral and civic fields to form responsible citizens, who respect others, democratic, with ideas of solidarity and inclusion.
Fostering fellowship involves many other things. It implies working as a team, learning in a cooperative way, leaving individualism aside.
Being a good companion implies being in solidarity with the people around you and showing prosocial behavior towards them.
In a learning based on fellowship, each member of the group cares about himself but also about his peers.
The subject considers that he is an important part in the development of his classmates, just as his classmates are fundamental to his.
On the other hand, when there is a learning based exclusively on oneself, individualistic and competitive, the interaction between the members of the group is not taken into account as a learning factor.
When fostering fellowship among students, they care about others, work and learn together, take into consideration, enrich each other.
The students support and complement each other and know how to respect their classmates, because they all have rights and duties in the tasks proposed.
In addition, when cooperative learning is given based on fellowship, different processes are set in motion.
One of the processes is the cognitive one, where there is collaboration between students and proper handling of difficulties.
On the other hand, we find the motivational ones, with the attributions and the shared goals.
And finally, we find the most affective processes, where students find meaning in learning, increase their self-esteem and also develop the feeling of belonging to the group.
10 keys to promote camaraderie
1. Work empathy with them
An important aspect to promote camaraderie in children is to work on empathy. The famous saying of do not do to the other what you would not want them to do to you.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place without judging them, understanding how they feel and how they act.
It is necessary to have empathy to be able to relate to others in an appropriate way. When we are empathic we relate better with other people, we communicate better, we have closer ties and more satisfying relationships.
Empathy is a component of emotional intelligence, it broadens our perspective. When we develop empathy in children, we are making them develop their emotional intelligence, which will make them more sensitive to relationships with other people.
For this, in addition to the daily example, you can do specific activities with stories, masks, riddles where they should put themselves in the place of other people, change perspective, recognize emotions and thoughts, change roles with role plays.
2. Encourage team work
A good strategy to encourage camaraderie is to encourage children to work as a team.
Organize the class in mixed and heterogeneous groups, where they have the possibility of knowing each other, of working together with a common objective, where they have to be understanding, supportive, tolerant and assertive with the opinions of their classmates.
In teamwork, face-to-face interaction between them should be encouraged, so that they also put into practice social and interpersonal skills, take turns, transmit ideas and know how to resolve conflicts, make decisions by helping each other.
In order to develop fellowship, within teamwork, situations must be encouraged and put in place where students have to help each other, support each other.
3. Work solidarity and help others
The help among school children is important. For example, some authors consider that giving and receiving help are beneficial in performance.
Thus, when one student provides another, this correlates with high performance. But also the fact of receiving help does it.
Also, teach them to spend time with other people and pay attention to them. When we foster solidarity in our students, we rely on the fact that they must be lent to the other.
We must encourage them to help their colleagues in difficult times, to accompany them in the face of problems and to help them find solutions.
We want them to be sensitive to the needs around them.
When working from the fellowship, it facilitates the social integration of its members, they feel more satisfied in the group and at the time of belonging to it, the violence between them is reduced and they are more committed to their peers.
4. Encourage informal relationships between them
A good way to encourage camaraderie is to encourage students to get to know each other and strengthen ties.
Organizing different activities, proposing extra-curricular activities or making children see themselves in more relaxed environments (on birthdays, on weekend trips, playing in the park) allows them to create more special links.
This is important because when a deeper relationship is created between the members of a group, the feeling of belonging to the group is very strong and therefore help and solidarity among its members is born.
5. Rotate the groups in class
One of the activities that you can do to work on the fellowship we have already said is teamwork. But within this and cooperative learning, a good key is the rotation of groups.
If each time you perform an activity the groups are different (different pairs, groups of three or six, that is, varying each time), you allow each one of them to learn about the differences.
Each of the children is different, with virtues and flaws, and knowing how to work and appreciate each one of them can be valuable learning.
6. Do not allow disrespect
The lack of respect between students necessarily implies a lack of companionship. Never allow physical or verbal aggression among students. Any lack of respect must be intolerable.
Bullying would be the problem taken to the extreme. It is important that in the case of disrespect you act and that you do not have in mind that they are children’s things.
These things must be approached by all and resolved, but in no case should they pass without any repercussion.
Any rumor, aggression, intimidation, threat must be addressed. Students who are victims of all this should feel protected and supported by the teacher and by the rest of their classmates.
7. Encourage good manners
Something as simple as being polite: give thanks, say hello in the morning, smile at someone else, say hello, say hello.
These small gestures can make another person happy and promote collaboration and good understanding between colleagues.
For example, if you enter a store or arrive to class and say good morning, or someone welcomes you with a smile, the atmosphere becomes warmer and more pleasant and you are more likely to have a positive and collaborative attitude.
Giving good morning or good afternoon when you get home or to school and being happy can lead to creating a good atmosphere and everyone strives to maintain it.
It is important to show this to students so that a more proactive attitude towards others is promoted.
8. Work tolerance
Tolerance makes more sense than ever in the complexity of today’s world. Tolerance becomes a key element when it comes to building a fair, inclusive and intercultural world.
Working tolerance implies respecting the beliefs and ideas of the other person, being respectful and considerate of others.
If there is no tolerance, there can hardly be good relations with colleagues.
9. It promotes good communication between them
Teach them to listen, the importance of listening and the effort required to listen carefully and be sensitive to the needs of their peers.
Good communication happens because they know how to listen to what others feel, think, what saddens them, what makes them happy and that they respect and help others achieve their goals.
In addition, encouraging communication between them allows them to resolve conflicts in an appropriate manner and sensitive to the needs of others.
10. Do not promote competitiveness, promote cooperation
Today, competitiveness is one of the core values in society. This competitiveness can be observed already in the school, where the numerical notes, finishing first, making everything perfect, have on many occasions superseded mutual help and cooperation among equals.
However, cooperative learning is a strategy with very positive results.
When working cooperatively, the person acquires an individual and collective commitment through objectives shared by the whole group and that have been agreed upon by all and that allow them to be a team to achieve the goals.
Cooperative work has proven to be more effective than individualism and competitiveness in the classroom.
When cooperation is promoted, it is possible to improve the relationship and the camaraderie among the students, they are more motivated towards learning and achieve much higher achievements.
For example, one of the methods that can be used in cooperative learning is tutoring or peer mentoring, which is how students acquire knowledge by helping and supporting each other.
To encourage companionship and prevent bullying problems it is necessary to work together school and family.
To do this, the family should be involved from the beginning, with school meetings, interviews between parents and teachers, with information about each student, talking about how it is, showing the progress of each one, etc.
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In order to be able to work together in the fellowship and education in values with the children, a network between the family and the school that goes in the same direction is necessary.
School and family are the two most important institutions in the child’s socio-emotional development and must ensure the good development of all its members.
We must bear in mind that, above all, fellowship must be based on the well-being of the group, on the happiness of its members and on the unity and cohesion of the group.