Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Can We Bring Back Manners?

I wrote this post in 2011, but this week our character trait is manners and t made me think of this post.

Has anyone seen,  "Please", "Thank you", or "Excuse me," ?    I've also put out a Missing Persons for, "I'm sorry" because I think  "My bad" put out a hit on it!

At the beginning of  every school year, I have to teach my students to say "Good Morning" when they walk into the room. If I'm at the door, I have to teach them not to wave or grunt at me, but to actually say, "Good Morning."  The sad part is that it is not just the students who seem to be lacking in this department, but a number of adults as well.

I believe I have enough on my plate that I shouldn't have to teach manners, yet, and still, I do. Throughout the day, behavior I view as common courtesy has to be reinforced, over and over.  When you want something, ask.  If someone is speaking, say excuse me. If you do something accidentally, tell them you're sorry.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.  If you sneeze into the air, you are not, "sneezing on the ground."  You can't interrupt others because you think what you have to say is so much more important.  The list is endless. 

 I'm not blaming  all parents for  this one,  I'm sure there are many parents who have taught their kids manners, but once they leave the house, they shed them like a snake's skin. Some students are content to go through the school day wrapped in layers of  "it's all about me."  I believe that is where it stems.  We have become a society so enthralled with ourselves, that courtesy is a throw-a-way.  How many times do you watch a television show where the characters are courteous and treat each other with respect? (And don't get me started on what some of my 5th graders are watching!)

As I was about to write this post, a friend of mine posted this link on Facebook,   "25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9"   She must have been reading my mind! :) Here's another article, "Social Skills Kids Need to Succeed."

I know it's not my job, but I do it. My students say thank you to the bus driver when departing from the bus after a field trip.  They say excuse me, when they need to get in front of someone on the line.  They answer, "Yes", and not "What?" when spoken to. And most of all, they say, "I'm sorry". Most of the time they mean it. I witness evidence of my handiwork everyday, and I just hope it ventures beyond my classroom doors.  Manners, so simple, but they make the environment a better place to be for 6 1/2 hours.

I think this was made by a student! We need to remind him calling  people knuckleheads is rude, but otherwise , it works!:)

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