Friday, October 17, 2014

Manners

     Today I was walking into school with 1 31 Gifts bag full of school papers (The utility tote with the insert for the hanging file folders), a bag of flashcards I had graded, my lunch, 2 dozen donuts and a box of munchkins with a ripped handle. As I was getting out of my car, I noticed one of my chorus guys approaching the door. I yelled across the parking lot and asked if he would mind holding the door for me. Not only did he say "Sure," but he also walked over to my car to see if I needed any help carrying things. 
     I have rediscovered this week that I love good manners (and parents that expect their kids to follow them). This has not been prompted by some bad event where I wish people had done something differently, but from deep appreciation of seeing kindness. I was even thinking today that many Christians talk about showing Christ's love- but don't necessarily follow basic manners that would help do that. 
     Here are some examples of manners I've seen this week:
     -normal "please" and "thank you"
     - door holding
     - Our 6th grade went on a trip and a little girl was struggling with her sleeping bag and pillow. Her 8th grade brother walked by, saw her struggling, smirked a little and then walked over, took her stuff and walked it to where they were going.
     - Today a few kids stayed after class to straighten up piles of music
     - I bought my 8th graders breakfast today. Every one of them thanked me.
     - Older kids at church working with the younger kids
     - People listening without interrupting 
     - A retired teacher coming back to help her replacement with a field trip and mentoring her

     I have a group of 8th graders who have created a culture of respect and kindness in their class. Can you imagine how much different the world would be if people just acted with manners and respect toward everybody else? Can you imagine what joy you would feel if you knew that when you entered a room, new place or situation that you could just be yourself without people being rude or demeaning?  Here's hoping...

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