Today is National Courtesy Day which “is a great way to remind ourselves that the world is better off when we show gratitude and graciousness in both big and small ways.” Sometimes we forget that simple things can make a big difference.
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I have to say that manners and courtesy are not something I see regularly in school. I remember as a child my mother taught us how to be courteous and mannerly, to say please and thank you, to hold a door open for the next person, and to push in our chair when we were excused from the dinner table. While I love my middle school students, I am always surprised when I drop something (even my cane) that no one moves to pick it up. When I was in elementary and middle school students would be flying out of their desks trying to be the first ones to help! When students are moving in the hallway hardly anyone stops to let an adult pass in front of them. Very few times do students ask if they can help carry something for a teacher, and I am forever reminding my students to push in their chairs before they leave my room. Please don’t get me wrong. My students will do ANYTHING they are asked to do to help me or another teacher, but few do things without being asked.
How do we get manners and courtesy make a comeback? Has it fallen out of fashion to be courteous? I try to lead by example, but sometimes I think I need to do direct instruction. 🤷♀️. What are your thought?