Respect has a powerful and peaceful ripple effect on those around us. Disrespect has a destructive tsunami-like effect. When we give respect we often get respect in return. When we respect students they feel empowered, valued, and needed. When students feel respected they are more likely to demonstrate respect for themselves and others. We believe that mutual respect provides an anchor of safety and security for everyone in your classroom. Just as anchors provide stability and safety when waters get rough a culture of mutual respect helps to establish a positive classroom environment.
Building and maintaining a culture of mutual respect should be our goal. It begins with teachers who model respect. An effective PBIS program must be anchored on a culture of mutual respect. When students see us being respectful and hear our Words of Respect, they begin to understand what respect really looks like, sounds like and how they can show respect for themselves and others.
Words of Respect demonstrate a proper regard for the dignity of one’s character and the character of others. These words reveal an intentional careful consideration and appreciation for others. When teachers and students use Words of Respect they demonstrate their belief in the value of all people.
We all want respect from others, and when we freely give it we expect it in return. However, when we show others respect and get disrespect in return, it creates a stormy situation. Trust is lost and relationships are damaged. Fostering a culture of mutual respect in your classroom helps to eliminate these stormy situations. The following BPL examples promote positive relationships built on trust and mutual respect:
“I asked you to step outside because I didn’t want to single you out in class. Your behavior is not acceptable. Not only is it unacceptable, but it also shows disrespect for me and your classmates. How can we change that? How can I help you?”
“I understand that you are entitled to your own opinion, and I want you to be able to share it. However, the way you just expressed it to the class was inappropriate. There are so many ways to tell others how you are thinking and feeling without being disrespectful.”
“Thank you for being honest—I really admire and respect the courage you showed in doing the right thing.”
“I totally understand your opinion. Are there other ways we can look at this too?”
“We are not always going to agree, but when we have disagreements we owe each other respect.”
This post is part six in a series of posts on what Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) “sounds like” in the classroom. The original post can be found at: eyeoneducation.com