Monday, January 24, 2011

Somebody's Watching

A while back, the headmaster of the school where I taught for so many years forwarded to me an essay written by one of his students. Entitled My Most Mannered Teacher, it was about yours truly. This essay detailed the reasons why she felt I deserved kudos for displaying good manners, for treating everyone kindly, and such. I never had this child as a student. She was a little bitty thing in the elementary department, and I was upstairs with my middle school students. I had very little interaction with this young woman, so you can imagine my surprise when I read her essay.

I’m not relating this to you in order to brag, for I feel there are others at this school more deserving of this praise than I. I’m simply hoping to covey just how those little things we do add up, and to stress that someone, somewhere, is watching.

Sure, we can spend all day long telling kids (and adults, too, for that matter) just what to do. But when the rubber hits the road, it’s our actions that will have a far greater impact on them.

We stress to them the importance of speaking highly of others, then turn around and gossip about our neighbor. We tell them to treat others respectfully while we rudely disregard our spouse. We encourage them to have faith during challenging times, then panic or throw a tantrum when things don’t go our way.

Actions speak louder than words –an oldie but a goody, and a cliché that exists for a reason.

So remember, Sweeties, people do remember what you did, and how you made them feel. Your actions could very easily impact someone’s life. You may be someone’s role model. Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to forget your manners.

Beth Newman
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