For blogs with less than 300 Followers

For blogs with less than 300 Followers
Thanks to Hestia's Larder for this delightful award.
(For Blogs with less than 300 Followers)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Good Manners

Manners Maketh Man William of Wykeham (1324-1404),

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 always use "Please" in instructions to my pupils, and "Thank You" after they've done it.
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.
 I think that covers the main areas, and I hope that Ringo will follow these basic rules of polite society.

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.


  1. What happened to make you so angry with Ringo?
    My experience has been that some people (I'm not talking about Ringo here) do forget basic manners. Some people are a bit self occupied and don't really mean to be rude, they just tend to see life from their own direction. I agree that this type of person probably needs to be reminded about manners. Sometimes people who are 'the boss' like to shelter behind a shield of 'being more important'. A feeling of the necessity to project self importance is sometimes done to reinforce one's position of authority. Some people just like to get off on feeling superior. I guess that's a bit sad really.

  2. Morning Richard [of RBB], Ringo really pi**ed me off last week by sticking his nose in, lying, trying to show he knew more about KAMAR and the Network Server than both I and Sean, and being rude.
    Apart from that eh was his normal charming self.
    I agree about the temporary forgetful abruptness. A couple of times I've been preoccupied with a relief problem and have sometimes been a bit rude. But I always try and go back and explain and apologise.

  3. TSB (not the arena, the Scotsman),
    You are a man who always exhibits the age old qualities of a gentleman, a gentleman of the highest order. Make no mistake about that.

  4. Gosh, Richard [of RBB] you say the nicest things.
    'Lawks Sir', you make me blush
    Actually, almost all of our colleagues are polite and well mannered. As are you of course.

  5. Obviously I don't know Ringo, but he sounds like some bosses I've known.
    Trouble with bosses is that psychopaths rise to the top. Just think of his self torment that makes him behave like this and laugh.

  6. Maybe so Second, although he doesn't act like a soul in torment, more like Torquemada.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Meter