This is an old book that was given to me in the school where I worked before.
The Essential 55, by Ron Clark. That’s 55 rules! Can you imagine? We are often told that we should not have more than 5 rules in our classroom, but I think we could have more. Kids deserve it, and they don’t have to memorize them, we just have to practice them every day. It has simple rules that will instill good manners.
For several years every morning before starting our calendar routine I would introduce a new rule and review the previous. I love to share and teach my students how to be good citizens. Reading, math, and science are important, but more important is to develop good human beings, kids who are empathetic and responsible. Don’t you agree?
This book has helped me to have some of the best groups in my school. The cafeteria ladies always told me how well behaved my kids were. My students would be very nice to each other and would try to compliment everybody.
Here are some of my favorite rules:
Rule 6. If you are asked a question in conversation, ask a question in return. As simple as greetings, sometimes we greet someone and ask for his family, and we are there waiting to be asked too, but this does not always happen. If someone shows interest in you, show him that you too are interested in his or her life.
Rule 11. Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. I try to remind my students that if they are nice to others life will be nice to them.
Rule 29. The ABC's of etiquette. Many of our students do not share the table with their parents; they don’t have many opportunities to attend restaurants or public places. We can help a little by sitting with them during lunch, teaching them the proper use of cutlery and good manners in public places.
Rule 50. Be positive and enjoy life. Everyone has problems, but if we have a good attitude we can find better solutions. Don’t be afraid to tell your students you are mad or that you have a problem, but be sure to show them a good way to handle these situations.
Rule 53. No matter the circumstances, always be honest. My students know the problem will be worse if they lie, but if they are honest chances are I forget the incident.
Anyway, I just wanted to share with you the book I am reading now; well, I’ve read it several times, and I am planning to read it again with my students the next school year.
What are some of the rules you have in your classroom?