Something that I love about education in general is that all students have a shared purpose. Whatever the topic of the class is, the students all share the purpose of learning more about that topic. Of course, sometimes students are more passionate about certain topics than others, but even so, the bond created through a shared purpose is very strong.
Every Friday morning with my third grade students I have a “sharing circle.” In this circle, each student has the chance to share one short phrase that has to do with something going on in their life. For example, students might share something like, “Mom’s Birthday” or “Excited for the weekend.” Then, based on what they share, they then call on two other students to ask them probing questions about their topic. In this circle, we are all connected through one shared purpose: to learn more about each other. Through learning more about each other, we connect on a deeper level. I think this is an excellent example of a shared purpose.