Happy August! Wow, where did summer go?! Did you know that August also marks â€œWin With Civility Monthâ€�? When I heard this, I knew that without a doubt I had to address its importance in my monthly blog post.
Now first, letâ€™s talk about what exactly is meant by civility. Civility is a polite act or expression and furthermore, the way you conduct yourself when faced with adversity. Adversity never happens in schools, right? Wrong! Adversity is everywhere, but I donâ€™t want to focus on that. Rather, I want to focus on how we can celebrate civility, positivity, communication and problem-solving skills with our students. The great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, â€œThe time is always right to do what is rightâ€�.Â #TRUTH
Here are 3 practical ideas of ways in which you can work to create a positive classroom environment:
- Incorporate circles into your classroom routine.
Work to build a community of trust, develop relationships, and strengthen communication skills through the use of classroom circles. Circles can be used to serve a variety of purposes, and you as the teacher have the power to use them to meet the needs of your classroom and students. However, donâ€™t lose sight of the main goal: to create a safe space where connections can be built and strengthened and students can be empowered in a positive manner.Â This video shows one schoolâ€™s journey using circles as a means by which to foster achievement.
- Take the â€œCivility Pledgeâ€�.
I happened upon â€œThe Civility Pledgeâ€� on the character.org website, and love it! It could be a school-wide or class-wide commitment and be displayed for all to see. What I like about this idea is it promotes the idea that we all must work together to build a culture of civility.Â Here is the pledge, but you could always modify it to meet your needs.
Take the Civility Pledge:
I pledge my commitment to personal reflection and
assessment of my conduct as I strive to do my part to build a
more civil society â€“ one in which each person is respected and
public and political discourse are aimed at the betterment of
our communities, our state and our nation.
I will respect otherâ€™s rights to hold different opinions; strive
to understand differing perspectives; avoid rhetoric that
humiliates and belittles others; speak out against incivility
and act to promote respect for all people.
- Practice what you preach.
As a school leader, it was always my belief that we should treat our students with respectâ€”no matter what. I never felt that I needed to belittle kids when they were in trouble. Iâ€™m not saying I was perfect, but I tried my best to model the behaviors that I wanted to see in my school. Even if itâ€™s not always reciprocated, we must model civil behavior for our students. A teacher once told me that students did not â€œfearâ€� me as a leader, and in that teacherâ€™s eyes, that was a negative. However, my reply was â€œYes, youâ€™re rightâ€¦ and Iâ€™m proud of that. I want our students to do the right thing because they respect me, not fear meâ€�. Practice what you preach and strive to model self-control instead of uncivil reactions.
What are you doing to promote civility in your school or classroom? Drop me a line and share!
Source: Social Learning