Students who have Guidance class this trimester have spent the month of September working to improve their manners. Mrs. Reichard and Mrs. Manganis have focused on six specific words, using the mnemonic “TES Invites Everyone to Practice Your Manners.” This was created to help remember to use words like Thank you, I’m sorry, Excuse me, Please, You’re welcome, and May I. There are posters and bulletin board displays around the building, and classroom teachers have added to the discussion within classroom meeting times. Teachers in the cafe each day also provide gentle reminders to apply what students are learning during lunch.
Yesterday students in grades 3-5, and today students in grades preschool-grade 2, attended community building assemblies to reinforce what is going on in guidance, our Go Green program, and to set a positive tone for October. There were friendly greetings, skits, “Mystery Guests”, and our upper elementary students have been challenged to create a song parody for our school!
As a “Mystery Guest” I spoke with our primary students about growing up and how I remember learning about manners. My most vivid memories aren’t word specific, but rather action based. “No elbows on the table” and “No hats inside” were two of the concepts in my house that were equally as important as any Please or Thank You. It seemed our younger crew were very familiar with the elbow rule, but very few hands went up when I asked if anyone still followed the “No hats” rule. Interesting.
A quick web search found many helpful articles for parents about reinforcing manners in children, but the best piece of advice I can provide is to practice what you preach. Parent and adult role modeling helps children to be friendly, kind, and polite, but also creates a social skill set that will be invaluable later in life!