“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I once had a teacher express their frustration to me regarding their 1st-grade student not taking responsibility for himself and his actions. I responded with, “You know what? I know a lot of adults who are still struggling with that.”
Hearing expressions such as these are common, as school counselors also provide consultation services for teachers and administrators. We hear many challenges and frustrations while helping to provide meaningful insight to better understand the children in their classrooms. Do we want our children to learn how to take responsibility? Of course. However, knowing that this is a struggle for everyone can help us be more patient, kind, and understanding with our students.
We as educators have to meet kids where they’re at. We can’t put expectations on kids that we as adults are not meeting. We have to model the desired behaviors we want our children and future generations to grow up learning. We can’t expect anything upon them we ourselves are not doing.
We need to live the values we teach.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” ~ Albert Einstein
I have two posters up in my office on 10 ways on how to treat others and being a good student (many of you have probably seen these or something like it). When you look at the posters, you will find some really basic expectations most schools have on our students. But again, we have many adults who cannot meet these basic expectations which are relentlessly being enforced upon students.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need to look at ourselves first. This is fundamental, and it starts with us. As adults, educators, community leaders, store managers, parents, etc., what do your basic interpersonal skills look like? Where are they at in relating to basic relationships and your ability to communicate, collaborate, and interact well with other people? We are all in interpersonal relationships with others. For the sake of our future, it is incumbent upon us to interact and communicate effectively, while living the values we are teaching.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ~ Marcus Aurelius