It is always a bit strange to me when a few teachers choose not to dance every year. They say they are not coordinated or they just can't do it and I respect their choices. But we ask every child in our school to go out there and perform whether they can dance or not and they do it. I feel as teachers we need to model the proper behaviors and attitudes that we want our students to emulate.
By going out and dancing my students look up to me and respect me for taking a chance and contributing as part of our school community. I respect them for taking a chance and performing in front of hundreds of people. Yes, I get nervous and I may forget my steps or turn the wrong way, but in the end I am proud of my accomplishments and so are my students.
So where is all this leading....The key word RESPECT.
Maria over at Be The Difference hosts a linky party called Make A Difference Mondays. She has lots of great ideas and wonderful resources on how to teach respect to your students and children.
I really believe that the best way to teach anyone Respect is to model it constantly. Not just talk about it or do one lesson, but to show it each and everyday.
Start with ideas that students can relate to such as Respect All Living Things. This includes people, plants, animals and even insects.
When I see a cockroach run out of my closet, or run across the floor I don't kill it...and I teach my own children and students the same. I get a broom and sweep it out the door. We don't squish that huge spider that runs across the white board, we just move away from it and hope he leaves the same way he came... We came home today from school and my daughter said "Mom, there is a weird cockroach on the floor."
Okay, so I know you want to smash it right!! A scorpion in my house!!! But I grabbed a cup and placed it on top of this little guy and we put him in a big glass bowl. My daughters named him and went outside to hunt for things it could eat. They then asked if we could get on the internet to find out more about scorpions.
I always show my kids it's okay to be scared, but we don't have to kill it. Every living thing has a purpose on the planet and we have to respect them, even if they are creepy and scary.