One of my role models is an educator named Ron Clark. Ron Clark believes in teaching children about the "Essential 55". In my classroom students will also learn about the "Essential 55".
When responding to any adult, you must answer by saying
“Yes ma’am” or “No sir.” Just nodding your head or saying
any other form of yes or no is not acceptable.
Make eye contact. When someone is speaking, keep your
eyes on him or her at all times. If someone makes a
comment, turn and face that person.
If someone in the class wins a game or does something well,
we will congratulate that person.
During discussions, respect other students’ comments,
opinions, and ideas. When possible, make statements like, “I
agree with John, and I also feel that…” or “I disagree with
Sarah. She made a good point I feel that…” or “I think Victor made an excellent observation, and it made me realize…”
If you win or do well at something, do not brag. If you lose, do not show anger. Instead, say something like, “I really enjoyed the competition, and I look forward to playing you again,” or “good game,” or don’t say anything at all. To show anger or sarcasm, such as “I wasn’t playing hard anyway” or “You really aren’t that good,” shows weakness.
If you are asked a question in conversation, you should ask a question in return.
Me: “Did you have a nice weekend?”
You: “Yes, I had a great time. My family and I went shopping.
What about you? Did you have a nice weekend?”
It is only polite to show others that you are just as interested in them as they are in you.
“When you cough or sneeze or burp, it is appropriate to turn
your head away from others and cover your mouth with the
full part of your hand. Using a fist is not acceptable.
Afterward, you should say, “Excuse me.”
“Do not smack your lips, tsk, roll your eyes, or show
disrespect with gestures.”
“Always say thank you when I give you something. If you do
not say it within 3 seconds after receiving the item, I will take it back. There is no excuse for not showing appreciation.”
“When you are given something from someone, never insult
that person by making negative comments about the gift or by insinuating that it wasn’t appreciated”
“Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. Go
our of your way to do something surprisingly kind and
generous for someone at least once a month.”
“Occasionally we may grade each other’s papers as a group.
When grading other students’ papers, if you give someone an incorrect grade, whether it is higher or lower than they
deserve, the amount the grade differs from the actual grade
will be deducted from your paper. The only marks you are
allowed to make on others’ papers are an “X” and the number they got incorrect.”
“When we read together in class, you must follow along. If I
call on you to read, you must know exactly where we are and begin to read immediately”
“Answer all questions with a complete sentence. For
example, if the question asks, “What is the capital of Russia?” you should respond by writing, “The capital of Russia is Moscow.” Also, in conversation with others, it is important to use complete sentences out of respect for the person’s question. For example, if a person asks, “How are you?” instead of just responding by saying, “Fine,” you should say, “I’m doing fine, thank you. How about yourself?”
“At times throughout the year, I will give rewards for good
behavior, academic performances and other acts worthy of
praise. If you ever ask me for a reward, however, it will not be given. It is rude to ask if you are getting something for good behavior. You should be good and try your best because you are trying to better yourself, not because you are anticipating a reward. I usually give some sort of reward to everyone who scores 100 on unit tests. If you make 100 and ask if you are getting something, no one who made 100 will be given anything.”
“Homework will be turned in each day for each subject by
every student with no exceptions.”
“When we are in transition from one subject to the other, the change will be swift, quiet and orderly. We should be
consistently able to turn from one book to another, complete with all homework and necessary materials, as quickly as possible. The opportune amount of time to spend in transition should be less than ten seconds, and we will work toward a goal of seven seconds.”
“You will make every effort to be as organized as possible.”
“When I assign homework, there is to be no moaning or
complaining. This will result in a doubled assignment.”
“While you are with a substitute teacher, you will obey the
same rules that you follow when I am with you. (I know this is hard, but it is important.)”
“We will follow certain classroom protocols. We will be
organized, efficient, and on task. In order to do so, we will
follow these rules:
1. Do not get out of your seat without permission. Exception:
If you are sick, leave immediately.
2. Do not speak unless:
You raise your hand, and I call on you.
I ask you a question and you are responding.
It is a recess of lunch.
I instruct you otherwise (for example, during group work).”
“You may bring a bottle of water and leave it on your desk. Do not ask me f you can get water while I am teaching a lesson.”
"Quickly learn the name of other teachers in the school and greet them by saying things like, "Good morning Mrs. Graham," or "Good afternoon Ms. Ortiz.
"Flush the toilet and wash your hands after using the rest
room. When in a public rest room, get a paper towel before
washing your hands. After washing your hands, use the paper towel to turn off the faucets and to press the dispenser to get another paper towel to dry your hands. (Or use the towel to press the button to start the dryer.) The last thing you want to do is touch areas with clean hands that others have touched with dirty hands."
"We will often have visitors to our school. If someone is
coming to visit our class, I will send two students to the front door of the building. You will have a sign welcoming the person. When our visitor arrives, you will shake hands, tell him or her who you are, and welcome the person to our
school. You will then take the visitor on a small tour of the
building before bringing him or her to the classroom."
“Do not save seats in the lunchroom. If someone wants to sit down, let him or her. Do not try to exclude anyone. We are a family, and we must treat one another with respect and kindness.”
“If I or any other teacher in school is speaking to or
disciplining a student, do not look at that student. You
wouldn’t want others looking at you if you were in trouble or being reprimanded, so don’t look at others in that situation. If you are the student I am talking to, do not get angry or fuss at students who are looking at you. Let me know and I will handle the situation.”
If you have a question about your homework, you may email me.
“There are several manners dealing with food that you must
follow: I call these my ABC’s of Etiquette."
“After we eat, we will clean up after ourselves. This includes
cleaning off the tables and making sure we haven’t left any
trash on the floor or around the eating area. It is important to be responsible for your trash no matter where you are and to be sure not to litter.”
"When we stay in a hotel room, it is appropriate to leave a tip on the pillow for the hotel workers who are responsible for cleaning the room after our stay."
“When we ride on a bus, we will always sit facing forward. We will never turn around to talk to other students, stick anything out of the windows, or get out of our seats. When we exit he bus, we will always thank the bus driver and tell him to have a good day.”
"When we go on field trips, we will meet different people.
When I introduce you to people, make sure that you
remember their names. Then, when we are leaving, make
sure to shake their hands and thank them, mentioning their
names as you do so."
"Whenever you are offered food, whether it be on a buffet or treats in class, never take more than your fair share. You
never want to be greedy and try to get more than you should, not only because it is wasteful, but also because it is
disrespectful to others when you do not leave enough for
"Whether we are in school or on a field trip, if someone drops something, pick it up and hand it back to them. Even if they are closer to the object, it is only polite to make the gesture of bending down to retrieve the item."
“If you approach a door and someone is following you, hold
the door. If the door opens by pulling, pull it open, stand to the side, and allow the other person to pass through it first, then you can walk through. If the door opens by pushing, hold the door open after you push through."
"If we are on a field trip, it is a good idea to compliment
something about the place where you are visiting. For
example, if we visit someone's home, it would be a nice
gesture to tell them that you think they have nice curtains.
People are always self-conscious when they have guests visit their home, so you want to make them feel at ease. Also, if we are visiting other places, such as a museum or theater, it would be nice to comment on how beautiful the architecture is or to tell the guide that you think the facility is very nice."
"During an assembly do not speak and do not look around
and try to get the attention of your friends in other classes. We must uphold an image that shows we have our act together."
“If we are on a field trip, it is a good idea to compliment
something about the place where we are visiting. For
example, if we visit someone’s home, it would be a nice
gesture to tell them that you think they have nice curtains.
People are always self-conscious when they have guests visit their home, so you want to make them feel at ease. Also, if we are visiting other places, such as a museum or theater, it would be nice to comment on how beautiful the architecture is or to tell the guide that you think the facility is very nice.”
“During an assembly, do not speak and DO NOT look around
and try to get the attention of your friends in other classes. We must uphold an image that shows we have out act together!”
“When you answer the phone at your house, you must do so
in an appropriate manner.”
“When we return from a trip, you will shake my hand as well
as the hands of every chaperone. You will thank us for taking the time to take you on the trip, and you will let us know that you appreciate having the opportunity to go. I am not concerned with being thanked; I am concerned with teaching you that is it appropriate to show appreciation when someone has gone out of his or her way to help you.
“When we are on field trips and we have to go up escalators,
we will stand to the right. That will give other individuals who are in a hurry the option of walking up the left-hand side of the escalator. When we are going to enter an elevator, the subway, or a doorway, we will wait for others to exit before we enter."
"When in a line; walk single file, two to three feet behind the person in front of you with your arms at your sides. You
should face forward at all times. There will be absolutely no
“Never cut line. If someone cuts in front of you, do not say or do anything about it. Let it happen, but let me know about it. I will handle the situation. If you fuss with someone who has cut in line, you could get in trouble as well. It’s not worth it; just let me know what happened. Please handle all disputes with other classmates in the same manner, by coming to me with any problems before you take matters into your own hands."
Do not talk in a movie theatre.
"Do not bring Doritos in the school building."
"If any child in this school is bothering you, let me know. I am your teacher, and I am here to look after you and protect you. I am not going to let anyone in this school bully you or make you feel uncomfortable. In return, I ask that you not take matters into your own hands; let me deal with the student."
"Stand up for what you believe in. You shouldn't take no for an answer if your heart and mind are leading you in a direction that you feel strongly about."
"Be positive and enjoy life. Some things just aren't worth
getting upset over. Keep everything in perspective and focus
on the good in your life."
"Live so that you will never have regrets. If there is something you want to do, do it! Never let fear, doubt, or other obstacles stand in your way. If there is something you want, fight for it with all of your heart. If there is something you want to do, go for it and don's stop until you make it happen. If there is something you want to be, do whatever is necessary in order to live that dream."
“Accept that you are going to make mistakes. Learn from
them and move on.”
“No matter what the circumstances, always be honest. Even if you have done something wrong, it is best to admit it to me, because I will respect that, and oftentimes I will forget any disciplinary measures because of your honesty.”
“Carpe Diem. You only live today once, so don’t waste it. Life
is made up of special moments, many of which happen when
caution is thrown to the wind and people take action and seize the day.”
“Be the best person you can be.”