The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any ~ Fred Astaire.
Whilst preparing this post, I kept on thinking about questions which would start me off. I finally settled on four important ones:
- Is society better when people treat each other with respect? If so, why?
- Is a classroom better when both students and teacher show mutual respect?
- What does the saying: “Good manners are one of the most important keys to success in life” mean?
- Which impresses people more — being “COOL” or being “COURTEOUS”?
High School students are no exception when it comes to manners. My watchwords to my students are always:
- To boys – Manners will make you a GENTLEMAN. Rudeness is never manly.
- To girls – Manners will make you a LADY.
No one ever went wrong by being polite – Hal Urban
Children are a reflection of where they are coming from. Thus, helping your children master the simple rules of etiquette will get them noticed — for all the right reasons.
In most cases some of our High School students’ rude attitude isn’t always intentional. Sometimes our students just don’t realize it’s impolite to interrupt, or pick their nose. Our teens are consequently affected negatively in the hustle and bustle of daily life, where busy parents don’t always have the time to focus on etiquette.
Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go ~Margaret Walker.
But if we – I mean both mum and dad or guardian – reinforce some must-do manners, we are bound to raise polite, kind and well-liked students who will have a great time in High School. I teach manners to my High School students and being a well-travelled teacher as well as teaching in diversified classrooms, I find that teaching and modeling certain mannerisms and behavioral ettiquecy help a lot.
Manners are minor morals. They are the everyday ways we respect other people and facilitate social relations. They make up the moral fabric of our shared lives. They need to be taught – Thomas Lickona.
17 Classroom Manners & Etiquette
IN MY CLASSROOM I insist and demand from my young ladies and gentlemen that:
- When asking for something, say “Please.”
- When receiving something, say “Thank you.”
- Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
- If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
- When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
- Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.
- When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
- Never use foul language in front of adults.
- Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
- Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
- If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me” or “Sorry.”
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public.
- As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
- If you come across an adult working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.
- When an adult at school asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
- When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
- Teach the hello-goodbye rule -When you enter somebody’s space, it’s common courtesy to greet them. You should do the same thing with your parents whenever you come into your house.
My other rule is my Hello-Goodbye Rule. When students come into the classroom, I’d like them to say, “Hello/Good morning/afternoon, Mr. Chimbizi.” I will, of course, return their greeting and say hello back to them. And when they leave the classroom, I like them to say, “Goodbye, Mr. Chimbizi.” I may follow it with a good-bye handshake.
At Home: Respecting You and Other Adults
It is essential to remember that parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
At home things may be slightly different as our teenagers of High School going-age’s respect towards us and other adults might waiver but we must never let them get away with being rude or blowing us off. Maintaining good manners at this age will set them up for more successes in adult life.
Family Education places a high priority on teenagers’ behaviour and set aside time to teach them about the importance of good manners and proper social conduct.
Without good manners, human society becomes intolerable – George Bernard Shaw.
- Listen to your teen and expect them to listen to you in return. Mutual respect is more important than ever during your child’s teen years.
- Tell them that being on time for appointments and other plans is a sign of respect, so don’t be late.
- Encourage them to help older people when they need a hand. Volunteering is a great way to practice good manners and interacting with different kinds of people.
- Give your teen time for privacy and using new media, like mobile phones and music players. But ask for them full attention when you’re talking or eating with them. Most teens are obsessed with media, so setting rules for appropriate use will help them learn good etiquette.
- Teach them the three R’s before they get to school: Respect for self; Respect for others and to accept Responsibility for all their actions.
A – Z Guide to Manners and Etiquette
The A – Z Guide to Manners and Etiquette looks at the new forces shaping the way we live, as well as some old ones, and suggests the best ways to behave. It’s not about pointing the finger at people and calling out bad behaviour; it’s about using common sense and thinking about how your actions might make other people feel in that situation.
Teens’ Manners – Show everyone how grown up you are by demonstrating good manners.
That’s just good manners which, alphabetically are:
- A — ACCEPT a compliment graciously.
- B — BE on time.
- C — CLEAN your hands.
- D — DO chew with your mouth closed.
- E — ELBOWS off the table.
- F — FRIENDLINESS to others.
- G — GOOD grooming shows self-respect.
- H — HAVE a go with humility.
- I — INTERRUPT only for a very important reason.
- J — JOIN in and include everybody.
- K — KINDNESS to all living things.
- L — LEND a helping hand.
- M — MAGIC words: “Please” and “Thank you.”
- N — NEVER point or laugh at others.
- O — OBEY the rules.
- P — PLEASANT tone of voice is a plus.
- Q — QUIET when others are working or sleeping.
- R — REMEMBER others on special occasions.
- S — SIT up straight.
- T — THANK the host or hostess.
- U — USE your beautiful smile.
- V — VISIT a friend who is lonely or sick.
- W — WATCH out for little ones.
- X — “X” out bad habits.
- Y — YAWN if you must but cover your mouth.
- Z — ZIP your zipper.
There is no right or wrong way to walk and text simultaneously. There is, however, a way to do it that will cause the least inconvenience for everyone else using the footpath. You can work out what form that takes by having a little empathy for your fellow humans.
Some people will have bad manners, no matter what. That doesn’t mean you have to respond to bad manners with more bad manners. When someone else is being rude, avoid lowering yourself to their level.
By sending home a copy of the A – Z Guide to Manners and Etiquette the students are being taught, gives parents an unspoken invitation to do the same at home.
Being polite, respectful, and pleasant is essential in all social and professional situations. Thus, it is never too late to teach good manners to our High School students. After all they are still children, and need guidance from us to prosper in life.
On a final note, please remember that . . .
Etiquette is all human social behavior. If you’re a hermit on a mountain, you don’t have to worry about etiquette; if somebody comes up the mountain, then you’ve got a problem. It matters because we want to live in reasonably harmonious communities. – Judith Martin
Good luck in your endevaours.
My next post on this exciting topic is entitled:
How To Make Our Students & Children Do Anything We Ask Of Them.
Until then, . . .