Are these values really “old.” In my classroom, we – yes we, I’ll explain in a minute – have one principle. That is RESPECT. At the beginning of each semester each class develops an understanding of the interconnectedness of respect. And, by the way, I include myself as being accountable. If I have made an error of disrespect, I do, have and will apologize to students, either quietly outside of  class or if necessary in front of the class.

What I think is important is this, that values become integrated into the psyche of each student. As more than one student has reminded me, “rules are meant to be broken.” Respect acknowledges the “other” and becomes an internal orientation or compass. Yes, we as teachers as much as we may not like it at times signed up for the role modeling contract – so respect starts with us. This is not top down in orientation, rather lived – modeled. When this is true, then and only then, can students or teachers, “walk the walk and talk the talk.

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