Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to School Manners

Manners are always important no matter where you are. Many of you or your children are returning to school in the next few weeks. School manners matter for all students from pre-school to college. There is not an age limit on manners. For the younger students, good manners certainly make the day a lot more pleasant. For college students, good manners can help you during sorority rush, job interviews, and in your everyday activities.

What are good school manners? Here are my top tips!

Greet others with courtesy. School is a time to make new friends and meet new people. If you’ve ever been the new kid at school, you can appreciate the power of a friendly hello. Make eye contact when you are talking with people to show them that you are listening. Get involved and be kind to everyone. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but kindness and respect is a must. If you’re walking in a hall and see another person, greet them by saying “good morning” or “hello.”

Communicate effectively. As a mother and a teacher, I encourage my children and my students to answer with a yes or no, not uh-huh or yeah, or even worse, not at all. Speak clearly and enunciate all of your words so that you can be understood by others. Your classmates and your teachers will appreciate it. Keep your head up and pay attention to the teacher, professor, and classmates.  A head on the desk is a clear signal that the student is not listening!

Keep your hands to yourself. So you might think that this is a rule for the pre-k set, but it applies across the board. Obviously, children should not hit or kick others, but there are other behaviors to watch. It’s incredibly awkward to see teenagers making out in the hallway. Here’s a good rule, if you wouldn’t do it in front of your mom, your pastor, priest, or rabbi, don’t do it in the classroom, hallway, or college lawn. (Maybe some of our elected officials could use a refresher course in manners.)  Refrain from touching other students, even if you think you are joking, the other student may not feel the same way!

Don’t touch other people’s property without permission. Elementary students should respect their classmates’ and teacher’s property by asking permission to borrow materials. It is not ok to get something out of another student’s desk without permission. College students who have inconsiderate roommates can certainly appreciate how important this basic courtesy is. Nothing is worse than going to the fridge only to discover that the milk, juice, or gasp, Diet Coke is gone!

Use technology appropriately. Some schools prohibit the use of cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices during class. If there is a rule, respect it! If the use of technology is not restricted, show good judgment by silencing your phone and limit texting to emergencies. When using a school computer, follow guidelines and don't circumvent blocked websites.

Clean up after yourself. School age children should leave the classroom, cafeteria, or common space in the condition they found it. Throw away trash and push in the chair before leaving the area. For college students, many living away from home for the first time, it is important to clean up common areas of a dorm or apartment. Many of the most common roommate complaints stem from a lack of cleanliness.

Isn’t it amazing how good manners translate to every situation and every stage of life? You can change a few details of these tips to apply to almost any theme.

What do you think are the most important manners students should possess?


P.S. Want to win a back to school monogrammed zebra wrap? Enter to win the giveaway from 2 Preppy Girls.

pictures curated in my personal and pinterest collection


  1. I think you covered this topic very well! And I agree with everything!

  2. As a current student and future teacher I love this post! I agree with everything :) Good manners are so important!

  3. I believe many adults would benefit greatly from observing these rules, as well! One is never too old to show respect for others. Wonderful list, Bethany!

  4. Headed back to school in a couple of days Bethany and it is so great to hear your advice. All of your suggestions were incredibly true..especially that these tips are necessary life behaviors! xoxo



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