Here is a quick tip to help students of any age interact respectfully….give kids the words they need. Literally….
Give a kid a directive… Then you say what you want them to say.
Teacher: Walk safely
Kid: May grumble or not respond
Teacher: Say ok Layla
Kid: Okay Layla
A kid is having an argument with a friend. Give them respectful words to problem solve. You may also have to give the friend respectful words to respond.
Kid: He took my pencil.
Teacher: You could say, that’s my pencil. Give it back please.
Other kid: May not respond or respond inappropriately
Teacher: Say ok, here is your pencil.
Other kid: Ok, here is your pencil.
Tone is everything here. When teachers give words they can also model the respectful, friendly tone in which the words should be delivered. It doesn’t hurt to make your tone a little more friendly than you would actually talk to help the kids really hear the difference in tone.
Often the friendly tone and problem solving nature of giving kids words actually invites the kids to cooperate when they might otherwise have refused.