There have been a few staple rules that have carried over from my generation to the next, and I am sure from the generations before me. Perhaps it is time to reflect and review some traditions, often tied to respect. Children have a hard time accepting the respect rule when asked to do something, not because they are rude but because there isn’t a clear reason as to how that rule makes sense. Here are a few:
1. Hats off inside.
2. No chewing (or eating, or holding) gum. Research is out there that shows students can positively change their focus levels when chewing gum.
3. Refer to your teacher as Ms., Miss., Mrs., or Mr…not by their full name. (When my students found out they said “your real name is Brandon, not Mr. Pachan”, I found that interesting.)
Of all of them on the list I am thinking of trying #2 out…the reason is I often chew gum. Perhaps it is a regulator for myself, and my students have seen it. What if I broke this cardinal rule with my class, and we did it together. Start small, keep it in the room, and then who knows, perhaps expand to global gum chewing.
I understand there will be specific times when this is not allowed. For example, during the national anthem or during other classes that may take place in the room. I am curious to see if it helps with student engagement, specifically their listening. I wonder if students who chew gum and their mouth muscles engaged will be less likely to talk out of turn and listen to the person (sometimes me) who is speaking.
What rules do you think you would break or change? Is there something that you can’t understand why it is still a rule, or wonder the origin of it?