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Chapter 8: Teach Manners

This chapter stresses teaching our children the importance of having manners.
by

Heather Brooke

on 13 June 2011

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Transcript of Chapter 8: Teach Manners

Chapter 8: Teaching Manners "The people who really know your character
are waiters and clerks." ~ Katherine Pipin "In April 2002, the Public Agenda published a survey that struck a national nerve: Aggravating Circumstances: A Status Report on Rudeness in America" (Lickona, p. 165) The study found that:
1. Nearly 60% of Americans say they often encounter reckless and aggressive drivers on the road. (Lickona, p. 165) 2. Almost half reported that they are often subjected to loud and annoying phone conversations (Lickona, p. 165). 3. Almost half say bad service has driven them out of a store in the past year (Lickona, p. 166). 4. Three-quarters say they often see customers treating salespeople rudely (Lickona, p. 166). 5. 79% say that "the lack of respect and courtesy should be regarded as a serious national problem" (Lickona, p. 166) No longer are manners necessarily about
knowing which fork to use, rather it is
the "daily assault of selfish, inconsiderate
behavior on the highways, in the office, in
stores, and in myriad other places"
(Lickona, p. 166) Watch this video about rudeness in America:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/06/earlyshow/main1973135.shtml

1. What do you consider the top two manners that are
broken most often? Why do you think this is?
2. In your honest opinion, how would you have reacted in some of those situations? Why? What can we do in our classrooms and schools to end this epidemic of rudeness and restore the character in our youngsters? 1. Get kids to think about why manners matter Hal Urban put up a sign in his classroom that said... "No one ever went wrong by being polite." (This is not Hal Urban) Over the years he became troubled by the declining basic courtesy of many of his students so he began the new school year with a discussion of manners. "In my experience, most people are capable of courtesy when they know clearly what is expected of them. Moreover, the classroom is a more positive place when everyone treats everyone else with courtesy and consideration." (Lickona, p. 167) He then handed out an article for the kids to read about good manners and proceeded to tell them how student behavior had changed over the twenty-plus years he had been teaching. He then had them answer six questions (anonymously) that allowed him to begin the discussion on how they, as a class, could create a more courteous and considerate learning atmosphere. By teaching this lesson on day one, allowing the students to be candid about their thoughts, and allowing them to be an active member of the discussion by seeking their input, Urban created a strong atmosphere for character building and education. 2. Teach the Hello-Good-bye Rule One of teachers biggest gripes today is that students don't return teacher's greetings. "Gary Robinson made it a point to teach his fourth- and sixth-grade students the courtesy of greeting another person and of saying good-bye" (Lickona, p. 170) 3. Teach Alphabet Manners When Susan Skinner teaches her kindergarten class a new letter of the alphabet, "she teaches the corresponding manner at the same time" (Lickona, p. 170) 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 -- Hang up your clothes.
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. In addition to teaching it in class, she also sends home a copy giving the "parents an unspoken invitation to do the same at home" (Lickona, p. 171). 4. Implement a Manners Curriculum "Implementing a formal curriculum on manners is a way to ensure that all students in a school, not just those in a particular teacher's classroom, get instruction in basic courtesies" (Lickona, p. 172) "Jill Rigby is a mother turned educator" who created such a curriculum for her twin son's school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She later named it Manners of the Heart, and it is used by hundreds of schools across the country (Lickona, p. 172). "The school curriculum has three parts: (1) everyday courtesies (such as smiling, saying please and thank you, playing by the rules, and saying I'm sorry); (2) communication skills (such as introducing someone, telephone manners, and writing thank-you notes); and (3) table manners (such as asking for something to be passed, posture, table talk, and manners for eating out)" (Lickona, p. 172). "Rigby has had graduates of her curriculum come back to her with stories of how her lessons in manners helped them in high school and even on dates" (Lickona, p. 172). If we teach our children good manners, "they will elicit a positive response from other people; ... they will be more likely to teach manners to their own children; ... and they can help to create a more considerate, gracious, and well-mannered society" (Lickona, p. 173). Here is another example of manners being incorporated into curriculum. Watch this video and then answer the following questions:
1. What can you do, in your classroom, to teach basic manners to your students?
2. What can you do to try to make teaching manners a part of your school-wide curriculum?
Full transcript