Monday, February 10, 2014

Etiquette

This week is Valentines Day, and in the fourth grade classroom, a perfect time to brush up or learn some new etiquette skills. This Friday, the class I am placed in this term will dress up nicely and have lunch with a partner (of the opposite). The focus of this is to have students feel comfortable in a one on one situation with someone of the other sex. Throughout the week the class will practice communicating appropriately, sitting correctly, not putting elbows on the table, all the good stuff we have forgotten to do in our own homes. Today, a comment a student made, really got me to thinking. The teacher was providing the class with an example of what to talk to talk to another student about, and reinforcing that you do not want to make the entire conversation about yourself, therefore you ask questions. In the middle of the demonstration conversation a student blurted out, "Your teaching us what Facebook does," in regards on what kind of comments to make to the other person. I was shocked and surprised, never before have a I heard something of this nature. The teacher made very valid points in the fact that this was the complete opposite of how you use Facebook. On Facebook, you have time to think about your answers and edit it your comment to your perfection. The conversation may just stop or continue to go on for a while. On Facebook, you can make yourself look one way, without others really knowing who you are and what you believe. As I think back on my day, I am some what disappointed by this comment still. I find it very sad that our youth are growing up thinking that Facebook can teach you how to communicate with others and how you should respond in our own 'real' conversations. On another note, I was glad to see that the teacher was taking the time to address proper etiquette, and giving her class the opportunity to experience it, because we have to face the facts that today's youth don't always get this at home. Being able to say please, thank you, and communicating to another person respectfully are real life skills, not "get me a drink woman" as one student thought would be okay to say.

4 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I am the ELD teacher assigned to our 4th grade team, where I push in for writing. I'm sharing your idea with the team. The spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year talking about manners. This will be a nice refresher and an extension.

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  2. This is an interesting idea that I have not heard of before. I'm still thinking about the Facebook comment as well. In some ways, I think that it would all depend on what the student's exposure to Facebook is and the interactions common to the student. It could be that there was some alignment with what he has viewed and what the teacher was advocating. It would be a good teachable moment to build on that connection with what is similar but then also discuss the differences (as your teacher did). Growing up in a digital age, it is positive for students to think about differences between face to face and digital.

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  3. This is a great idea to incorporate into Valentines day, and also into a classroom. I really like the thought of it. I do agree that that is sad that that student said that, many people, especially our youth are growing up as Facebook and television being 'real life' instead of them experiencing things themselves.

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  4. This is an interesting idea. I think that many kids aren't explicitly taught manners and some of these behaviors. Good luck with this Tricia, and let me know how it goes. Thanks for sharing!

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