From the Principal

Kindness, Good Manners and Respect

In the last few days I have heard of and seen wonderful examples of the good manners and kindness of our students.

New students have been welcomed, worried or fearful students have been helped, assistance has been offered without being asked, and respect has been shown in so many ways for the right of our teachers to teach and other students to learn.

It may seem strange to those who see education as a competitive sport, where only the most assertive can be “winners”, but when I hear or see the way your students deal with each other, their teachers and members of the public, I am filled with pride that our SCAS education.

In conjunction with our parents, it is a mark of a truly successful school when this becomes a natural response to others.

These traits not only make our students great young people but provide the foundations for not only fitting into society but making our society a better place by their presence and behaviours.

Not only do these behaviours make our school a safer and more attractive place to learn, they are also traits that have a positive impact in the workplaces that our students will populate in the future.

Why Teaching Respect To Children Is Important
“Respect is one of the most important virtues a child can have. Teaching your child how to respect others will ensure they develop positive relationships with their family, friends and teachers throughout their life. Respect can be taught in many ways, but ultimately it’s about ensuring your children lead a happy life and treat other people kindly.” Childventures, 2016.

The media often portrays successful people as brash, arrogant and lacking concern for others. Sometimes these images seem to imply that you need to be a sociopath (‘A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour and a lack of conscience”)  to be successful in life and at work.

While there is no doubt some very successful people display sociopathic behaviours, most of us would find working for and with them stressful and confronting.

Humans are, by nature, social animals and our society, while formally held together by laws and rules, relies heavily on forms of social contract to allow us to live in any form of harmony with our fellow humans.

The workplace, where we spend so much of our lives, can and should be a place where respect and good manners is a given.

Manners Matter.
I expect my young kids to always say please and thank you. I believe that adults should expect this from one another as well. Those are not words that should ever be implied; they should be said. People who can’t be bothered with common courtesy make the environment around them worse….You should set high expectations for your employees and require them to meet those expectations to stay employed, and exceed them to move forward. Being kind doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to be taken advantage of. When there is an issue and your kindness is being tested, deal with it in a way that is firm but courteous. Good employees don’t stay long in bad environments. Fear and respect are two different things. Foster a workplace where people stay and work hard because they respect you, not because they fear you. Why Kindness Matters In The Workplace, Brooke Idiart, Forbes Communication.

Teaching Children Respect

Good manners: Good manners stem from respect. Saying a simple “please” and “thank you” can go a long way and, with practice, these gestures can become natural to your child.

Tolerance: Your child is bound to face conflict throughout their life. While they might not always agree or understand what’s being said or done, teaching them respect will ensure they do their best to address conflict in a productive way. Teaching your child respect will allow them to communicate in a way that is effective and also will encourage them to take responsibility for their own mistakes, and better tolerate the mistakes of others.

Listening: Learning how to communicate effectively means knowing how to listen, and this can be taught by understanding the importance of respect.

Open-minded: Teaching your children respect ensures they will get to know a person before making a snap judgement. This behaviour will help them throughout their entire life, and ensures they treat everyone with kindness.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School
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