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Manners in the Curriculum?

Manners in the Curriculum?

Whenever the BBC wants an 'expert' to pontificate about educational issues on the Today programme they invariably wheel out Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College and I invariably shout at the radio. I don't want to hear what an independent school head thinks about state school league tables, state school curriculum etc. I have worked in both sectors and they are worlds apart. Consequently I nearly choked this week when I read about his proposal for a national General Certificate of Character Education.
And yet, and yet..........The qualities that Dr.Seldon believes can be taught are the very ones the lack of which, as a supply teacher, I most often despair: responsibilty, self-control, politeness, punctuality, honesty, kindness, manners. The way children conduct themselves in the classroom has more of an impact on me than the way they cope with their academic work. When you are a visiting teacher it is nice to find pupils who take responsibility for their learning and speak to you with some degree of respect. But many of them need to be taught how. I asked a fifteen-year old the other day if he spoke to his grandmother as rudely as he had just spoken to me and he shrugged his shoulders. He probably does and she probably gives him back some of the same.
I frequently read of businesses which defend their employment of workers from Eastern Europe because our home-grown youth cannot offer the basic personal skills they require. From my own encounters in the classroom with whining, lazy, argumentative and ill-mannered pupils I am not surprised. I am certain Dr. Seldon will not get his Certificate but if he just raises awareness in schools it will help.

Why can't we just start by asking everyone to say Please and Thank You?

Tags: Lyn, Secondary, Supply Teacher, Teach in Bristol, Manners, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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