09DE385D-ADE2-45B2-B655-55D83ABD7D61I had breakfast one morning with a fellow teacher, a boy and his Mum. He got up early and laid a wreath on behalf of the school at the Anzac ceremony so he deserved a meal at a café in return.

We talked about very important things, like whether it’s ok to eat sushi or pancakes with your hands in public. During our conversation, he divulged that the first thing he remembers learning in prep was to chew with his mouth closed.

This got me to thinking- how many things do kids learn at schools that are nowhere to be found in curriculum documents?

I personally always insist on manners in the classroom. I praise students who use pleases, thank yous and excuse mes and I give gentle reminders when they forget. https://ateacherislikeacandle.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/what-is-a-candles-true-purpose/

I encourage upper primary students to create a signature, which they use daily to “sign in” to our learning space.

We teach kids to wait at the perimeter of our teacher office area until they are invited in.

On camp, we show kids how to use a knife and fork, how to wait until everyone is finished before moving from the table, how to be patient until seconds are offered, and how to clean up after a meal.

I’ve taught kids how to rest one body part at a time and to focus on their breathing when they’re having trouble sleeping due to home-sickness.

Through the sharing of photos of my princely cat, they learn about how to be respectful pet owners and that pets provide good therapy.

We teach kids to be inclusive. To be upstanders and not bystanders.

A big part of a teacher’s day is indoctrinating organisational skills in kids who would forget their heads if they weren’t screwed on.

We model and support sharing, making friends, and resolving conflict amicably. We model restraint and we model healthy eating and exercise habits.

We try and make them see mistakes as learning opportunities and failure as just one step towards success.

So many things do not fit into what we call our “core business”, and yet we deem them important enough to teach.

A candle’s light shines from here into infinity.


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