Twelve years ago, I left teaching 7th grade English to become a school library media specialist. I often miss having a class of "my own" students who understand my procedures and expectations. Being a middle school librarian with an open, flexible schedule I see 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students of all ability levels in their content area and special area subjects. I have taught in three different districts, but one thing is for sure...middle school students need reminders to mind their manners. To help our students prepare for their future we must not only teach them the academics, but also help them to become active, respectful participants in society.
Today I posted a sign at our circulation counter to remind my students about ways they can "mind their manners." Out in the "real world," I remind them, that it's not always what they know but how they act and what they say. Sometimes children are oblivious to how their behavior impacts other people's perceptions of them. Other children don't have appropriate role models for them to emulate. Already I see a change in students who now know how to relate to others with this gentle reminder.
Developing good manners is a life skill, I have created given signs for the offices of my administrators, the nurse, the guidance counselor, and the dean. I even posted them in the cafeteria. It takes a village to raise a child!
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian