Core Classroom Value #1:  Respect

Stepping into any new classroom or coaching environment the first things I present are my four core classroom values.  I’ve done this dozens of times at many schools.  The first question to my students is:  “Do you like rice?” For me, I like the R-I-C-E acronym because it is easy to remember and most people like rice.  Over the next two weeks I will be blogging about these core classroom values, starting with Respect.

Rita Pierson

My first value is foundational.  As an educator, respect is often discussed because in the classroom it is indispensable.  The North Carolina Standards of Teaching include this as #2: “Teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students” (p.4).

Anita Franklin says it another way with her 60’s hit called Respect:

This value of respect is a two way street that both the teacher and the student travel.

In the classroom I seek to connect with my students, spur on discussion, and help them reach for a high level of critical thinking.  How does this happen?  In presenting material with a posture, tone, and image of respect to my students and athletes.

Quick Story:  After teaching one day I was walking through the courtyard and stopped to talk with the Assistant Principal.  We chatted about some of the challenging students I had in the classroom and how I was being received by my students after a few months.  The conversation turned to my transition to teaching and what potential I might have in the future.  This Assistant Principal said upon my arrival, there had not been the need for an administrator in that classroom, so I had been received well.”  In my opinion, respect should be displayed by the teacher and the student.

Respect can be challenging given so many different backgrounds in culture.  One day as I was teaching I was challenged by my students with being out of touch with the music culture because I didn’t know the lyrics of Tupac.  Go figure!  Respectfully, my return response was to ask if this student knew the music and lyrics of Lecrae?  Of which this student did not.  My follow-up was that he won a Grammy last week and does that count in culture?  This discussion led to better appreciation and communication with this student and in the class.  We can all find differences but the strong teacher extends respect to others despite the differences.

If we treat people like trash and we can expect the relationship to stink but if we treat others like we wish to be treated there is the potential for a relational rose garden.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Core classroom value #2 coming soon!

Student-centered and Teacher-driven,

Chris Morland, MS, CSCS

The view, opinions, and judgments expressed in this message are solely those of the author. The message contents have not been reviewed or approved by any outside entity.
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