All too often, young folks are overlooked when it comes to their manners and courtesies they demonstrate.
This morning, as I entered the Ankeney Middle School main office, there was a good deal of congestion. Another staff member was temporarily filling in for the school secretary, juggling the telephone, a few students and several parents. I also knew that as I walked toward the doorway leading to the hall she would need to juggle one more item of pushing the button to release the door (locked for security measures).
As I signed in, I spied a young man, perhaps an 8th grader, standing with his foot in the door. I moved toward the door, anticipating a few seconds of wait time until the lady pressed the button. However, the boy pushed the door open.
“Thank you, so much! I appreciate you holding the door for me.”
He replied, “I saw you were heading towards the band room and figured you would need to get out. It’s busy in here this morning.”
I could have given him a list of 25 things that made him an outstanding young man. I was impressed, and grateful.
As I walked down the hallway, a piece of paper slipped from my hand, and a young lady raced to retrieve it and bring it to me.
After piecing together my saxophone in the practice room, I moved to the band room to collect my first student. Band was just getting started, and there was still a bit of chaos. I began to move toward the other side of the band room when I noticed a delightful 8th grade percussionist, a special needs student, hurrying over to inform my student I was there. I thanked this student, and he was so pleased he could be of assistance.
I truly love it when young people rise to the occasion for even the smallest things. In the past thirty years of teaching, the atmosphere in the schools have drastically changed, and the attitudes and behaviors of young people, where courtesy, politeness and thoughtfulness seem greatly diminished. Maybe it’s my perception, but there is definitely something different.
I always take the time to express my gratitude, and even explain why their thoughtfulness is important, thus reinforcing their wonderful behaviors. Yes, parents must do this at home, however, we are all a part of that team – that village – that must assist parents with coaching, teaching, reinforcing, and cheering.
I am really proud of those three students at Ankeney Middle School who demonstrated wonderful thoughtfulness! I am also grateful my mother took the time to instill, insist, and even demand her children use great manners, especially at the table, and to be courteous and thoughtful! I’ve seen it in my sons, and I see it in my brother’s children!
Go, Young People!