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.

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