Sunday, December 20, 2020

Civility in the Classroom

Students working together in classroom.

I believe that the process by which students learn is much more important than the actual content data they acquire. If an information base were all that was required to be successful in life, the library and the internet could satisfy that requirement, and students wouldn’t need teachers at all.

In my classroom, I wanted my students to read good books, write insightful compositions, and learn to correct grammar to be understood and respected when speaking or writing. Those concepts were important to me, but much more important was the climate of the classroom in which they spent so much time with me. 

Allowing students to work in small groups helps them learn to be civil to one another. I tried to mix up the groups in my classes so that students could work with people they did not know especially well. 

How we treat one another in our daily interactions is something for which we can all take responsibility. Not everyone is raised in a home where family members respect each other and speak to each other kindly. That’s one of the most important reasons for teachers to require that the students in their classes treat each other with civility. Teachers can model that behavior and expect students to do the same. When teachers observe students treating each other with respect, it is important to reward their behavior with a smile, a nod, or a compliment.

No one should be subjected to a learning environment in which they are subject to criticism, racism, misogyny, or any manner of hate-filled speech. Civility begins in the home and in the classroom. 

Click here to download a FREE Civility Worksheet to help your students recognize and understand what civility means.

Here's another resource your students might enjoy. I wrote an original short story, and students will give it a title while exploring its theme.

Thanks for reading. Here are some blog posts that my teacher friends wrote that you will enjoy reading. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I love this post! You really do build a community and even a family by the way you interact with your students and teach them how to interact with each other. Your civility page will definitely get some meaningful conversations started. Thanks for your awesome ideas to get us started in the New Year!

  2. Civility in the classroom is very hard to teach when the outside world is missing it right now. This may be the most important lesson to teach in today’s environment. Congratulations on reminding us !

  3. Such an important topic for these times. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

  4. I love the idea of introducing the concept of civility & label it as such! I agree, it is so needed, especially since it's hard to find some adult treating each other with civility.