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5 Golden Rules for Student Success: #2 Use Manners

Most people would agree that using manners is an important part of life. At Paragon, manners are integrated into the school day.

When The Paragon School opened its doors 12 years ago, teachers and students came together and created the School Rules. The purpose of each rule is to guide Paragon students to success, both inside and outside of school.

  1. LISTEN – Focus on what is being communicated
  2. USE MANNERS – Always be polite and respectful
  3. BE SAFE – Practice safety at all times
  4. BE FLEXIBLE – Adjust favorably to change
  5. SELF-CHECK – Be accountable for your actions

Last week, we covered Rule #1 – Listen (arguably one of the most important school rules). This week we cover Rule #2 – Use Manners!

Rule #2 – USE MANNERS

Shouldn’t everyone use manners? Nowadays it seems like there are a lot of people who lack manners, but at Paragon this rule is not only integrated into the school day, it’s practiced outside of school. As discussed in last week’s blog post, social interactions for individuals on the autism spectrum can be difficult or uncomfortable. By having manners integrated into all aspects of the school day, students are pushed beyond their comfort zones and learn that using manners can go a long way in creating positive and lasting impressions on others.

Manners are the foundation upon which positive social skills are built. This means engaging politely in conversation, acknowledging when an individual does or says something kind, or offering help to others, even when the help is not specifically requested.

Middle and High School teacher Kathy Steger explains, "Good manners are important for considering the feelings of other people and being the kind of person that others will like and respect. When I was growing up, we were taught about the Golden Rule, “Always do to others as you would wish them to do to you if you were in their place.”

She says saying learning to say please and thank you shows consideration for others; apologizing and taking ownership of a situation shows empathy towards others; and smiling and making small talk encourages positive socialization and life long friendship skills.

"If you are respectful to others, then you are more likely to be treated with respect by them," Mrs. Steger explains. "If you show good manners everywhere you go, you are more likely to encourage others to behave in the same way towards you."

Mrs. Stegers’ students shared their thoughts about Rule #2.

“When you see a friend, you should shake their hand, say hello, and ask how they are doing. It’s also important to meet new people and just show politeness to others.” -Christian

“Using manners is important because being nice is the right thing to do. You should be polite everywhere you go.” -Mikaylah

“Using manners helps me look like a friendly person and people can become friends with me and not avoid me.” -Josh

Watch out for our post next week when we cover Rule #3 – Be Safe!