Written by Ms. Florence Martin
I was recently browsing my social media feed and came across an article about how a Portugal school encourages parents to teach manners at home. It stated that it is encouraging parents to be more proactive in teaching their children manners at home. What caught my attention was all the engagement that this piece is getting. As your partner in education, I want to share with you my point of view on the subject and shed some light on how I encourage and reinforce manners in my classroom.
How Common is “Common Sense”?
First and foremost as a parent, I was a bit taken aback because this concept is just plain common sense. However, we all know the saying “common sense is not always common.” From early on, I’ve taught and continue to remind my kids to say please, thank you, greet teachers and friends, hold open doors for all people, etc.
The article also stated that the job of the teacher is to teach the subject areas and to only reinforce the education taught at home. I somewhat agree with this, as I believe my first job as a teacher is to create a classroom environment that promotes respect for all.
In doing this, I intend to lead by example. By using manners, greeting other adults that walk into my room when class is in session, and encouraging my students to follow suit.
Whose Child is This?
Year after year, as I begin a new school year and stand in front of a room of parents waiting to hear about my classroom procedures, I begin with a poem called “Whose Child is This?” This poem speaks volumes in that both parent and teacher have a responsibility to shape a child’s mind, academically and socially. Therefore, I will gladly reinforce what is hopefully taught at home and continue to lead by example; with my students feeling respected and loved outside of their home environment.
Spending Quality Time, Important?
As we begin to wrap up the school year, I leave my parents with simple advice; Don’t worry so much about what books will be assigned for summer assignments. Furthermore, focus on ensuring your child is the one to greet their new teachers when they begin the new school year. Make sure they know to say please and thank you. Most importantly, do they know to respect their teachers and classmates? Teach them to express compassion and kindness to anyone who is different than they are.
Your partner in education,