Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for..Respect

As a classroom teacher, I sort of expect my students to have respect for themselves and for others. It is my belief and understanding that respect is something that is taught/learned. I hope (expect really) that most parents/adults have taken the time out to teach or at least model for their children what respect is.
In the last few years, I have noticed an increasing decline in the level of respect children have towards their elders (not just in the classroom).  Are grown-ups slacking off in the respect department? What's going on?
I suppose in a classroom, the lack of respect isn't as bad as it is in normal everyday life. A prime example are the children that living in our apartment fortress (which consists of three separate buildings, hence the term fortress!). They will run up and down the stairs and the hallways. They will loiter out in front of our apt. They don't hang out inside their homes, they have to be in the hallway, sitting their, blocking the walkway. Really?? The hubs has yelled at them a few times. He has even chased a few before! When he has asked them to leave and go home, they just stare at him blankly as if they don't speak the language. We've decided that these are the types of things they have learned from their parents. It is widespread here. The entire community could use a training in respect. Part of it has to do with the fact that a lot of the young children in this community (up to elementary age) have parents who are not that much older. That is where the cycle begins.
It used to be that, children knew to say please and thank you or even excuse me. To me, manners sort of go hand in hand with respect. Is it because our values have changed in the last 10 to 15 years? Now it seems there's more focus on children being technologically savvy or able to read than to know to wait their turn to speak or even wait until a person is making eye contact with them to know when to speak. All of these things (to me) encompass respect.
I spend my days, reminding children to wait their turn to speak or how to notice the social cues/even pick up on body language when they want to speak. Sometimes it makes me wonder if when they are at home, if they just start talking while their grown-up multi-tasks (which we are all guilty of). I am trying to teach them to make eye contact with a person when they are speaking to someone. I am also trying to create a foundation of empathy within each little soul that enters my class. They're not going to just pick it up from drinking the water. Everything is learned. It's a tough job. There's a lot of disconnect going on that I am not happy with at all.


  1. Amen, sister! I get that a lot on the switchboard. People call and burp, fart, flush toilets, yawning, washing dishes, don't say please or thank you, are talking to other people in the background, asking for a number but don't have a pen. I'm thinking in my head, "Hey, you called me. Did your mama teach you some manners?"

  2. We have a bunch of hooligans in our complex as well. It saddens me because they will be outside for hours with no one ever checking on them. My DH says the parents probably look out their window but they cannot see where they are playing from their windows because the covered parking spot block their view. I am working very hard on getting Clark to say please & thank you. He is a pro at thank you - he even says it when he does something for me like picking up the towel when I drop it.

  3. Respect is a tough one for me to teach to my kiddos when it comes my relationship with them. I want us to be friends. I dont want them to fear me. So let them get away with respect murder. I later regret it.

  4. I'm going to chime in on this one.
    I totally agree with you. I think it's society as a whole. I think a lot of kids go home to the video games. I don't think many parents are as involved as they were when we were growing up. I have many students who say, "My mom/dad is on the computer all night playing games." or "My mom/dad sits and talks to the neighbors." I honestly think most parents don't pay attention to their kids enough.
    There are a few exceptions to the rule, I have like 3 kids whose parents are involved because they email, call, come in, sign paperwork, volunteer, etc.
    It's sad.

  5. There are beyond way too many people who do not know what the word Respect means.

    I hope that I can raise my children in such a way that they are respectful to others. I can only hope they turn out well.


Hey everyone,
Just wanted to thank you for taking the time out to leave me a comment. Happy reading!