Posts Tagged Courtesies and Manners

The Importance of Manners in the Classroom

Edmund Burke, the 18th century British statesman, said that manners are more important than laws. According to George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, “Without good manners human society becomes intolerable and impossible.” Manners are what make civilization civil. Hal Urban, author of Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things I Want My Kids to Know, suggests holding discussions on manners.

Following are some questions that Urban suggests:

  • Would a society be better if people treated each other with respect?
  • How are classrooms and schools societies?
  • How can good manners be one of the most important keys to success in life?
  • What is the Golden Rule? How is it civilizing?
  • Which impresses people more: being cool or being courteous?

The following questions promote … >>>


Rules vs. Expectations

Expected behavior is more effectively achieved through the use of standards than rules.


A common practice in this country is to establish classroom rules, either by the teacher or by the teacher and students cooperatively.

Rules are necessary in games, but in relationships rules are counterproductive. Although the establishment of rules has good intentions, their implementation often produces deleterious effects. When Johns Hopkins University researchers analyzed data from more than 600 of the nation’s schools, they found six characteristics associated with discipline problems. Notice that the first three concerned rules.

  1. Rules were unclear or perceived as unfairly or inconsistently enforced.
  2. Students didn’t believe in the rules.
  3. Teachers and administrators didn’t know what the rules were or
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