The idea that manners makyth man clearly went out of the educational system before he went into it.
[1983 R. Barnard Case of Missing Bronte vi.]
I have been brought up by my Mum & Dad to believe that good manners cost nothing, but are essential for the smooth functioning of society. Actually, that's not quite true. I was brought up to be polite and good mannered or else. Or else my Dad would skelp my bum with a slipper, or my Mum would send me to bed with no supper, or my Gran would scrub my mouth out with soap.
I got the idea, and it's now part of me.
I could no more desist from thanking someone for doing a task for me, than I could expose myself to the Queen.
I try not to butt into others conversations, nor eavesdrop to private chats. I wait for permission before I enter some one's room. (I don't mean a formal invitation here, just a simple eye-contact and a raised eyebrow is all that's required)
I always try to get on with everyone. The one time I had to be rude to an ex-colleague, who let me and my department down very badly, I felt physically sick when I told him bluntly to go away and never contact me again.
So why does Ringo refuse to be polite or well-mannered. There are now very few people in Nuova Lazio High he has not annoyed or reduced to tears.
Perhaps he doesn't realise the effect he has been having.
Perhaps he wasn't raised the way I and most of my generation were raised, learning the basic rules of behaviour as we grew up.
Perhaps he's just a dick.
Well in the best spirit of educational practice (pedagogical really, but I hate that word), let us support rather than spurn, so here's a list of some of the basic rules of politeness. Please use them.
- Always greet a colleague with a smile
- Try and use their name when saying "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening.
- Please don't just growl/snap their name as you pass
- Return a greeting with a greeting or an acknowledgement
- Don't walk into a room without being invited where:
- A class is being taught
- A conversation is taking place
- between teacher and pupil
- between teacher and parent
- between teacher and teacher
- between teacher and support staff
- between support staff and support staff
- between parent and support staff
- A phone conversation is occurring
- Don't stick your nose into areas that are not your concern
- Everyone has set areas of responsibility, don't intrude. They know what they're doing.
- Don't pontificate in areas of technical complexity when you don't know what you're talking about
- Try not to talk in a condescending manner
- Don't put people down for trying their best
- Always thank people for their best efforts
- Acknowledge others failings in a restrained manner
- Always acknowledge your own mistakes promptly
- Never lie.
- Try to keep to the same agenda everyone else is using
- Secret agendas aren't really secret after a few months
- Don't order colleagues in a peremptory manner, a gentle reminder or a request for a volunteer is much more effective.
- Make sure that there are no mirrors around before you try to stab someone in the back.
- Loyalty goes two ways, Up as well as Down
- Don't walk into and interrupt a conversation between two colleagues. Wait for a few seconds for their body language to invite you to speak. No matter how urgent you think the information is you have to impart.
- Don't assume:
- If you observe some pupils waiting quietly outside a teacher's door, don't assume they're in trouble, and don't start shouting at them.
- If you're in a meeting, don't assume everyone else also has a hidden agenda
- If you see someone working on a technical computerised task, don't assume that they don't know what they're doing
- If you see someone working on a technical computerised task, don't assume you know more than the expert does.
- If you forget an appointment or a deadline, tell us. Don't try to put the blame on someone else.
If you think I've missed any, please add it to the comments, and I'll acknowledge them and add them to the list.
Have a good day.