Diligence At Work


here was once a teacher who asked two students to do a research about a community helper. Student A set out to do an interview with a fireman. Student B set out to do an interview with any community helper available. Student A had a difficult time locating a fireman so she went back to her teacher to ask if any other worker can be interviewed. And teacher said “Yes!” So student once again set out to locate any community helper and did find an available postman. Proudly, student A went back to teacher to tell teacher about the postman and to ask what types of questions can be asked. Teacher helped student A formulate questions to ask. But when student A finished interviewing the postman, she also found out that the postman had another special community task assigned to him during the evening. Excited about this, student A went back to teacher to ask for more questions to ask about the special task of the postman, and once again student A went back to interview the postman. How many times did student A go back and forth to her teacher to seek help? In the meantime, student B went out to observe different kinds of community helpers and sat down to think about the most significant helper possible and available for an interview. Then student B made an outline of interview questions to ask, a basic skeleton of an outline. Then student B also made a web of other questions to ask just in case…other interests arose from the interviewee. Student B made sure that the questions could be flexible to all the available community helpers should changes be made. After the interview, student B went to see teacher to present the proposed questions, open to suggestions of course.

Which of the two students exercised diligence at work? Was it student A who exerted muscle power going back and forth consulting with teacher? Or was it student B who saved a lot on physical exertion by covering all areas of concern, saving a lot on time but indeed, covering important areas?


The Home school educational set-up is probably the most significant location for observing and learning the habit of diligent and thorough thinking , decision-making and application. For the children who are so blessed to have the opportunities to work around the house, diligence and thoroughness applied upon waking up in the morning means immediately fixing the beddings used well, collecting laundry to be washed and bringing these to the proper area and cleaning up the room as it should be before leaving it . Sometimes it can also mean mopping up the bathroom floor after a bath making sure that the next person to use the bathroom will find it clean and fresh as if it hadn’t been used. It can also mean cleaning up the whole cooking area when all you have to do is wash one plate that has been used. It really is just doing the work very well, efficiently or proficiently. More than what is really asked. What does the student learn when diligence and thoroughness is applied at home in tasks, recreational activities and other duties?

Diligence is not a matter of working hard; it is a matter of paying proper attention to a task, making a good job out of the job. So a child who learns to pack his own toys well does so by sorting out the stuff into groups. Try not to suggest what groups these should be. Let the child figure it out for himself. The exciting part is for the parent to politely inquire afterwards what groups these are. It is always a thrill to find out how your child is processing grouping by discovering the strategy the child has come up with. Did you know that grouping toys is a skill in math? And science? Then if the child can explain it back to you, you would have encouraged language and conversational skills. But above all, packing the toys into organized groups is an act of diligence and thoroughness. Life skills like dressing up or dressing down can also teach diligence. “Complete the job well!” is my frequent encouragement to my own children. They are encouraged to complete the task but well done. So after having changed clothes, make sure the soiled ones hang to dry first from perspiration before hamper time. Then polish up the place where you dressed up. This one is just an example of a daily event that happens in the home. With so many activities to be done at home, try to be diligent about tasks. Make a good job out of the job!
But how?

The Modeling Theory
The Modeling Theory operates in three simple steps. Here they are in overview.You observe a model;You imitate the model's actions; You get a consequence. With very little words, children can be highly influenced to be diligent and thorough at work by observing others in the family. Just by watching they can learn what to do, what not to do, when to do it and what to expect if it is done well. What a great theory! Of course the child has to know what is being modeled rather than be told what to do all the time.Just make sure the imitation leads to the right consequence. In the field of education, the theory of Modeling is used to influence behaviour so why not in the area of character? A.Bandura



2 comments

  1. Anonymous  

    September 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    :)

  2. Anonymous  

    September 12, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    =))