Happy Monday everyone! I am so glad you are here 🙂 If you joined me last week, then you learned a little bit about why I am so passionate about helping you out.
Today we will be talking about my NUMBER ONE tip. This is the ONE major thing that I stress to everyone when I talk about classroom management.
We need to teach our students manners.
I have told teachers this and I often times get mixed reactions. Some say “Yes, that makes sense! That is the problem; lack of respect.” While others say “No, that isn’t my job.”
Yes, we could say that it isn’t our jobs. While it is true that manners used to be extremely important and usually taught at home, they aren’t always anymore. Not only that, but think about kindergarten when we were in school (this goes for everyone, even high school teachers). Don’t you remember having a kitchen set, block set, and other areas where we just played? Well it wasn’t just playing and having fun, we were developing crucial social skills. All of this, for the most part, has been taken away.
A modern day kindergarten classroom consists of children sitting at a desk and working all day. Gone are the days of interaction and social development. Imagine being a child who has never attended school and has never really been around other kids. You are itching to play and talk, but instead you are forced to sit, listen and work on stuff that is extremely hard and frustrating to someone who doesn’t even know their ABC’s.
With more and more studies coming out saying that play was actually a really good thing, it is further proving that this might be the core reason for behavior in classrooms going haywire. Not only that, but it just continues to snowball throughout a child’s entire school career.
I can rant and rave all day about how these poor children (and teachers!) are suffering without play, but since this is the reality these days, let’s talk about how to fix it.
We need to start taking the teaching of manners into our own hands. Teaching kids manners (at ANY level) is going to teach them how to respect others in various situations. How do you expect them to adhere to a behavior plan (whatever it may be) if they don’t have the core concept of respect? Yes it is frustrating to add more to our plates BUT I have seen that when there is respect, more teaching gets done. You find that you don’t have to constantly stop a lesson to redirect 5 million times.
Now let’s go back to the ANY LEVEL comment. Often times teachers think that kiddos learn this stuff in kinder and if they are misbehaving in 4th grade then they are just “that child” or the kinder teachers didn’t teach them well enough. This is one of my all time biggest pet peeves. We need to stop blaming one another. We all know it is common for children to lose up to 25% of what was learned in a school year over summer break. Why on earth would social skills not be involved in that statistic? We need to ALL make sure to focus and remind students about manners and how to treat one another (that goes for you as well middle school and high school teachers!).
Ideally you would need to work on this the first few weeks of school, but it can be successful when introduced later on in the year. You just must use your strict side to get the point across.
Let’s take a look at what I have done:
- Let the parents know your intentions with manners. Let them know you are holding them to the same standards as their child and that you will demonstrate it as well. Practice what you preach!
- Conduct a lesson on what manners is (I have a FREE one for you… but more on that in a bit)
- REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION. Just because you taught it once in a blue moon doesn’t mean it stuck – c’mon, you know that!
- Role play! Get those kids up, moving, and practicing what you just taught. Oh, those teenagers are gonna love you for this one.
My nonnegotiable display of manners:
- ALWAYS use “yes ma’am/sir” and “no ma’am/sir.” This is where role play comes in handy.
- ALWAYS greet a guest when he/she walks through the door with a handshake, introduction and “welcome to our classroom” statement.
- ALWAYS treat everyone in our class like family. Family comes in many different shapes,colors, & sizes and, oh boy, is that ever true in a classroom.
- ALWAYS cheer each other on no matter how big or little of a win.
- ALWAYS help one another.
If you find yourself needing some more help with this – or if you just want this to be a bit easier – I have created a lesson plan and activity set dealing with manners JUST FOR YOU.
If you sign up for my email list, you will have your lesson plan and everything you need to create an anchor chart and behavior sort at the tip of your fingers. Also, signing up will give you access to my emails that will contain more behavior tips and freebies!
So tell me, how do you plan on bringing manners into your classroom? Are you already working really hard at this? Tell me about it all in the comments! As always, don’t hesitate to comment and/or email me your questions!
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