Tips for Teaching Respect

Instructor: Jennafer Tomlinson
Knowing how to garner and give respect is an important life skill; a skill that can and should be taught in the classroom. This lesson offers practical tips on how one practically goes about teaching respect in the classroom.

What is Respect?

Before understanding how to teach respect, it is important to know exactly what respect means. Respect is an attitude that is expressed either verbally or nonverbally in response to another person; additionally, respect also means treating impersonal objects with care. A respectful person gets along well with others and uses good manners as well as proper etiquette when conversing. They take good care of their personal belongings and are deemed responsible.

A Polite Handshake Is A Respectful Gesture

Tips for Teaching Respect

Teach by Example

The first and most important way to teach respect is by showing it. Teaching respect is not one of those 'do as I say and not as I do' principles. There is an old saying that in order to receive respect, you must give respect. Well, in the same way, in order to teach respect, you must also be able to demonstrate it. This is not a call for teachers to become passive in terms of rules and discipline, quite the contrary. Firmly reminding the students to show respect, inside the classroom as well as outside of the classroom, is an important part of teaching the concept of respect. Do not be afraid to lay down the law. If a teacher becomes too tolerant of certain negative attitudes and behaviors then the student naturally becomes disrespectful and will not learn respect.

Remembering Overarching Principles

Teaching respect can be fun and easy. Utilizing different learning strategies such as games, rhymes, acronyms and mnemonics will make understanding the concept of respect much easier. Listed below are multiple examples that a teacher may use to help teach respect within the classroom. When teaching the overarching principles of respect, the use of an acronym can be helpful. The acronym is for the word R.E.S.P.E.C.T and it is used to teach certain negative behaviors that should be avoided. Avoiding these behaviors will assist in being more respectful.

R -Rudeness

E - Evilness

S - Snootiness

P - Picking on others

E - Elitist

C - Cruelness

T - Terrorizing

Another helpful method is using a mnemonic. The mnemonic 'Remember Eternally Show Politeness, Empathy, Consideration and Thoughtfulness' teaches respect by listing positive behaviors that all people should have towards each other.

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