Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a manners program for her students. Leah is a special education teacher and her focus is on children with autism. She also has a blog, Teacher Talk, where she writes about her experiences.
When I was visiting your classroom preparing for the manners program, I noticed several boxes containing materials. My eyes immediately went to the box on life skills. Tell us about that box!
In our life skill box, I have a lot of resources that help teach students skills they need for life such as direction following, manners, greetings, and how to hold a conversation. The box contains activities and worksheets that help students learn and practice these skills.
My favorite life skills/manners activity to teach is how to greet a person properly. Proper greetings change depending on age, location, and familiarity of the person. I love teaching different greetings during morning meeting since first impressions matter. We also practice saying hello and goodbye when entering and exiting the classroom. In addition, we always reinforce and expect our students to say please and thank you.
My students love to participate in group projects where collaboration is needed to complete an end product. My students wrote and produced a video about Mozambique that shared how some students could not go to school since they could not afford a $10 uniform. My students loved practicing their lines and recording the video. In addition, my students have enjoyed morning meetings where they greet their classmates and their teachers, participate in a group activity, and then ask their classmates questions about their weekend or how to solve a math problem.
4. Of these activities, which ones do you believe have the most impact?
I think each social skills activity has had a beneficial effect on my students. Morning meeting has been a great social activity that has helped produce a “family” feel in the classroom among peers and teachers. Producing the video helped my students think outside the classroom and use their social skills to focus on helping other people. Focusing on saying please and thank you has helped my students be a role model to other students in the lunch room and to special teachers.
Would You Like Lesson Plans to Teach Manners in Your Classroom?
Good Manners Set the Stage for Future Success
As an educator, you know how important social skills are for a child’s success. Children who are polite, well spoken, and attentive to others find it easier to get along with their peers and make a positive impression on the adults in their lives. As a result, more opportunities come their way, laying the foundation for future success in life. Yet too many children are not being taught proper manners or other valuable social skills at home. Which means it’s up to us as educators to equip them with these important life tools – and help them grow up to be responsible, caring, successful global citizens.
Now you can help students improve their behavior in as little as 10 minutes a day… a week… or month.
Manners To Go™ is taught in public, private and charter schools around the world. The New York Times, Parents Magazine and Fox News have all featured Manners To Go and the many benefits of teaching social skills to children.
Whether you are an educator who wants to teach it in the classroom or someone who is looking to become trained and certified, we provide all the solutions.
As students progress through high school, the need for strong interview etiquette skills becomes even more important. Interview skills should be a priority in every high school classroom.
As an educator, your role is to help your students succeed and thrive academically. But a huge part of this is preparing them for what’s to come. From scholarship and college admission interviews to their first jobs and internships, interviewing is going to be a huge barrier to success. That’s why you should focus on interview etiquette with your high school students.
And luckily, it’s easier to implement than you might expect!
Why Is It Important To Teach Interview Etiquette To High School Students?
Aside from preparing students for college and career interviews, teaching interview etiquette helps shape other life skills, too.
High school students are unique in that, when they feel fully confident, they have a contagious level of positive energy. When they learn new skills that feel relevant to real life, it’s easy to see their joy and sense of accomplishment.
That’s right—high school students will be incredibly enthusiastic about learning new skills, as long as those skills feel relevant and practical. Interview etiquette is hands-on and lets students think and learn in a new, different way.
Students love learning things that benefit themselves. Studying something like geometry is important, but many students don’t see how it’s relevant to their real lives. When you teach interview etiquette, you’re supporting your students in preparing for adulthood.
Plus, you get to build that confidence in your students. A huge part of interviewing is learning to showcase yourself in the best light and celebrate your skills. Many high school students are vulnerable and feel insecure….and you have the chance to change that while helping them make a good impression and achieve their goals.
3 Types Of Interview Etiquette You Should Teach To High School Students
If you’re worried about how to teach etiquette to your high school students, it’s way easier than you’re anticipating.
There are actually three main types of etiquette you should focus on. We’ll go over those three types and then move into some easy strategies for incorporating interview etiquette into your classroom.
1. Teach Them How To Have A Strong Interview Presence
The first main component of interview etiquette is having a presence. This means things like:
Having good posture throughout the interview
Walking into the room with confident body language
Keeping your body language confident throughout the conversation
Our body language tells interviewers what they need to know before we even start talking. Many students are completely uncomfortable with interviews, and that shows in their body language.
Prioritize walking in with confidence, maintaining eye contact, and keeping your shoulders back and down, your torso elongated, and your chin up.
2. Teach Them To Dress The Part
Dressing the part—and more specifically, dressing for what you want—matters. The way we dress helps portray our values and attitude toward a role.
You’ll want to encourage students of all backgrounds to do their best to dress in an authentic, appropriate, and professional manner. Remind students that it’s okay to ask about interview dress codes if they aren’t sure.
Typically, you can advise male students to wear slacks and a clean, pressed, collared shirt. The same outfit will work for female students, but a dress or skirt with a business-appropriate length will also suffice.
Just remember that all students do not come from the same background, home environment, or resources. Keep that in mind when discussing appropriate interview attire.
3. Work On Conversation Skills
The final fundamental piece of interview etiquette is conversation skills. There are a few important things here that you’ll want to teach your students.
First, let your students know that they should always do research on the company (or university) that they’ll be interviewing with. Even better, if they know the name of the person who will be interviewing them, they can research that person, too.
Next, prioritize conversation skills during the interview. Of course, basic manners and conversation skills matter here. But there are also specific that matter, like asking open-ended questions and using phrases like “describe,” “please explain,” and “tell me.”
You can have your students interview each other with scripts to practice these types of skills!
Now let’s get to the fun part. How do you easily teach interview etiquette in your high school classroom?
Here are four steps you can take to do this.
Make The Process Fun With Role-Playing
As a high school educator, you know how important it is to keep learning fun and engaging. When it’s time to prepare your students for interviews, you need to keep things hands-on and engaging whenever possible!
Role-playing activities are a great way to engage students with real practice. You can even pair students up in groups and have them consistently practice interview etiquette once a week.
Use An Etiquette Curriculum To Help You Plan These Lessons
If you’re looking for structured plans for etiquette in your classroom without extra stress, the Manners to Go curriculum is perfect for you!
Manners To Go offers a job skills curriculum complete with tons of engaging activities to guarantee student success during interviews. A huge part of interview etiquette is how you carry yourself (not just your answers to questions) and that’s exactly what our curriculum focuses on.
As a high school educator, you have lots on your plate. Manners To Go’s curriculum gives you a clear path for teaching interview etiquette in your classroom without tons of extra work.
Practice Key Interview Skills Consistently
There are so many skills that your students need to know in order to be successful in interviews. Breaking this down into a specific checklist helps you stay on track while creating snackable lessons for your students.
Here are some of the key interview etiquette skills you should focus on:
Preparing a list of questions for the interviewers
Answering typical interview questions students might be asked
Body language and delivery
Inclusivity and conversation skills
Make sure to point out successes at each of these skills as students start to use them. Manners To Go’s curriculum features lessons for each of these essential skills.
Prioritize Following Up After Every Interview
If you want to help your students stand out, going above and beyond with interview etiquette is a must.
And the best way to do that is to implement manners through following up!
Teach your students that following up with an interviewer isn’t just acceptable—it’s encouraged. Then, focus on practicing those skills by writing a handwritten thank you note or email.
These follow-ups are quick to put together, but take practice to master. They’re worth doing, particularly because they show good character and strong leadership skills.
Working on interview etiquette with your high school students is an incredible way to prepare them for the real world. Whether your students are heading to jobs, college admissions, or scholarship interviews, they need those essential skills to succeed.
Middle school is a vulnerable time for many students. As children grow into adolescents and start experiencing a whole new set of social, academic, and personal challenges, focusing on personal development is important. That’s part of the reason why it’s so important to teach manners and respect to middle school students.
As the last stop before high school, college, and the adult world, middle school prevents a pivotal opportunity to help students develop. There are lots of reasons to teach middle schoolers manners….but even more important, how do you do it?
Why Is Teaching Manners and Respect Important In Middle School?
Teaching life skills, manners, and respect to middle school students is imperative to their well-being. In fact, these elements are the key to giving students a happier adult life long-term!
First, students are making impressions on each other in a deep, lasting way throughout middle school. The impressions they create in middle school often follow them into high school and impact their ability to excel, both academically and socially.
Many middle school students don’t learn about manners and respect (or other key life skills) at home. In those cases, school is the only opportunity they’ll have to receive a manners education that will shape their adolescent years for the better.
Actually, middle school students know they need these skills and are eager to learn them. When given the opportunity, many students will rise to the challenge and embrace learning manners and respect at school. This is especially true if you can show them how valuable these skills are, both long-term and short-term!
Manners, etiquette, character education, life skills, and social-emotional learning are all intertwined. However you categorize these topics at your school, education can (and should) include many aspects of human behavior.
Manners and respect are a foundational piece of human behavior, and socialization is so important. So focusing on manners and respect alike, along with skills like math, literacy, and culture, is essential.
How To Teach Manners and Respect To Middle Schoolers
Where should you begin teaching manners in middle school? Let’s explore how you should actually go about teaching manners and respect to your middle school students.
Start With The Basics
The best place to start when teaching manners and respect is with the basics. Don’t assume what your students know—not every student is comfortable with fundamental social skills or basic manners.
Remember, every student has a different home life. It’s our responsibility as educators to meet them where students are, not expect them to jump to where we expect them to be.
Every middle school student needs to have a certain set of skills that will help them socially and academically. No matter what subject you teach, focusing on manners and respect in your middle school classroom is very important….and easier than you think to add to your classroom.
An added bonus is that teaching manners and respect actually makes your job easier! When your students respect you, themselves, and each other, your classroom will be easier to manage. Add in basic manners across the board, and your students will perform better and feel better equipped to deal with daily life.
Some basic manners and respect hallmarks to focus on with your middle school students include:
How to make (and appropriately maintain) eye contact
How to introduce themselves
Using appropriate language when speaking with others
When to put devices away and be completely present
How to navigate a place setting
How to manage (and present themselves well on) social media
Good posture when sitting or standing
Receiving these basic skills will help every middle school student navigate the world more smoothly. All of these skills are easy to teach. But each one is also incredibly valuable and will last a lifetime!
How To Add Manners and Respect Topics and Activities to Your Middle School Curriculum
Manners and respect don’t have to be the entire focus of your classroom. It’s easy to add small, teachable moments to your lessons, no matter what subject you teach!
First, make sure you model great manners and respect in your classroom. Consistently model the social behaviors you’d like to see your students learn.
You should point out moments where you practiced specific etiquette skills. Remember, you should always point out and celebrate when a middle school student in your class is using amazing manners and respect. Whether it’s skills from a lesson you’ve taught or something you haven’t covered yet, celebrating small wins helps your students see the value of manners right away.
Everyone’s home situation, background, and lifestyle are different. Create an even playing field by showing and telling what’s right (and explaining why it’s right!).
You’ll also want to highlight the true benefits of good manners and etiquette for middle schoolers in your classroom.
Why should your students care about this? In middle school, young pre-teens are focused on the now, so tailor your explanations to social issues they’re currently facing. Then, as you make progress in teaching manners and respect, you can shift to prioritize long-term benefits!
Teaching manners and respect in your middle school classroom is an amazing decision. Especially since so many students are facing new struggles (and likely aren’t receiving these valuable social skills at home), you’re providing them with skills that truly last a lifetime.
Teaching etiquette is important at any age. But etiquette for teens is incredibly significant — especially for high school students! With so many big life changes ahead, teenagers need to be prepared to thrive socially out in the world.
Focusing on etiquette for teens in your high school classroom will help you continue to positively impact your students. You’ll provide them with skills and knowledge that last a lifetime.
Why It’s Essential To Focus On Etiquette For Teens
As an educator, you understand the value of social skills for every student. Particularly for high school students, knowing how to act in both social and professional situations is essential!
Basic manners and etiquette for teens helps them make positive impressions on the right people. Whether your high schoolers are applying for part-time jobs or apprenticeships, college, or interviewing, etiquette is the key!
Plus, etiquette helps teens know how to respect others. In such a vulnerable emotional time as adolescence, the more respect and empathy we can foster, the better!
Teenagers who use good manners (and have amazing social skills) are more likely to receive opportunities to grow and thrive. In a modern world grounded in tons of new social etiquette rules, teens might not receive proper manners education at home. That means the classroom might be the only place they could learn social skills and etiquette for the professional world!
Etiquette for teens impacts their ability to excel, both in school and professionally as they enter the workplace.
Every teen should have a certain set of skills that will help them socially, academically, and professionally. No matter what subject you teach, etiquette for teens is incredibly important….and easier than you think to add to your classroom.
Some basic etiquette for teens to focus on include:
How to make (and appropriately maintain) eye contact
How to introduce themselves
Using appropriate language when speaking with others
When to put their devices away and be completely present
How to navigate a place setting
How to manage and present themselves well on social media
Basic interview skills
Good posture when sitting or standing
Dressing for professional occasions
Receiving these basic skills will help any teenager navigate the world more smoothly. All of these skills are easy to teach, but incredibly valuable (and lifelong).
How To Start Adding Etiquette for Teens To Your Curriculum
Etiquette for teens doesn’t have to be the entire focus of your classroom. It’s easy to add small, teachable moments to your lessons, no matter what subject you teach.
First, make sure you model good behavior in your classroom. Consistently model the etiquette and social behaviors you’d like to see your students learn.
You can even point out moments where you practiced specific etiquette skills.
Next, point out and celebrate when a teenager in your class is using those amazing etiquette skills. Whether it’s skills from a lesson you’ve taught or something you haven’t covered yet, celebrating etiquette helps teens see its value.
Be direct when teaching etiquette for teens. Don’t assume that all teenagers know even basic social skills or manners!
Everyone’s home situation, background, and lifestyle are different, so create an even playing field by showing and telling what’s right (and explaining why it’s right).
You’ll also want to highlight the true benefits of good manners and etiquette for teens in your classroom. Let’s be honest: no high schooler likes feeling as though what they’re doing is irrelevant! The more you can show them how valuable these skills are, the more open they’ll be to learning.
Teaching etiquette is about self-respect and respecting others.
You should highlight to your students that etiquette and good manners aren’t just a set of strict rules. Instead, encourage students to reflect and use these skills because of how it makes them feel on the inside!
Benefits of Etiquette For Teens
Students who learn and use etiquette become more polite, well-rounded teenagers and adults.
Etiquette for teens actually leads to a number of positive character traits, like:
Greater confidence and self-esteem
Empathy for others
Improved etiquette and social skills in the classroom and at home
Better manners in everyday life
Confidence to take on leadership roles and new challenges
All of these character traits help teenagers navigate adolescence and beyond. As they grow older, those fundamental etiquette lessons will continue to add value to their lives.
High school is one of the most important times to focus on manners and social skills. Etiquette for teens provides lifelong value and builds character. Even better, it helps prepare them for amazing opportunities as they grow older!
If you’re ready to start focusing on etiquette for teens in your classroom, Manners To Go’s curriculums can help you! Providing etiquette and social education to your students in any subject is easy with the right strategies and tools on your side.
It’s never too early to teach children good manners. Elementary school is actually the perfect time to start teaching social skills. Adding etiquette for kids to your curriculum will help your students develop into mature and respectful adults.
Social skills impact us for our entire lives. That’s why starting off with strong etiquette for kids is important. But why does it matter?
Why Is Etiquette for Kids Important?
Children are constantly learning and making connections. Childhood is a critical time to teach kids the skills they will need for the rest of their lives.
That doesn’t just mean reading, writing, and arithmetic!
Adding etiquette for kids into your classroom teaches your students skills that will help them on every step of their journey.
Those benefits will show up in your classroom, too! Well-mannered children are easier to teach and will have an easier time navigating social situations in the future.
We need social skills, like etiquette, to effectively navigate life.
Those skills let us form genuine human connections. Children, like adults, want to connect. They want to make friends and bring joy to the people around them. Learning manners gives them the skills to do that.
Good manners are all about self-respect. Teaching etiquette for kids is about teaching children to value themselves and recognize their effect on the people around them.
Areas of Etiquette For Kids to Teach to Elementary Students
Teaching etiquette for kids is easier than you think. Manners can be fun! In fact, you’re probably already encouraging children to use etiquette in your elementary school classroom.
I’m going to go over four specific areas you can focus on when teaching your elementary-aged kids. By starting with these easy areas (that you probably already cover!), you can shape the next generation.
These 4 areas are:
Learning how to be empathetic to others is essential for people of all ages. Teach your students how to think about the world outside of themselves. Children should learn that every individual lives a life as rich and emotional as their own.
This can be as easy as asking them to notice when another student is not smiling or is feeling unwell. Your students will begin to naturally attune themselves to the people around them. It’s a skill that will help them build stronger connections with others for the rest of their life.
Ask your students to tell you how they help other people in the classroom. What examples can they give of times they practiced empathy?
Everybody can use a little more kindness in their life. Kindness to others is a form of kindness to ourselves.
It’s also something that can be taught when demonstrating etiquette for kids.
You can encourage kindness in your students using these methods:
Have your students practice giving one another complements. They can be about anything! Maybe someone has a really cool lunchbox or a beautiful smile.
Actively include everyone in activities. Encourage your students to encourage their classmates.
Incorporate gratitude in the classroom. Give your students an opportunity to share something they are grateful for every day.
Self-respect is at the heart of etiquette for kids. Even as adults, we use good manners because of how it makes us feel inside.
Well-mannered people feel confident and respected. That sense of confidence and respect from others helps us to develop our sense of self-respect. Using good manners actually makes us feel good about ourselves.
Encouraging your students to use good manners will build their confidence. Having self-respect will improve children’s lives as they grow into mature, confident adults.
When we respect others, we reap the benefits just as much as the people around us!
A child who is respectful of others is more likely to have a wider social circle. Other students will treat them better because they are being treated better. It’s reciprocal.
A child who respects others and respects themselves is easy to be around. This helps children create and maintain healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.
Where to Focus on Etiquette for Kids In An Elementary School Setting
I told you teaching etiquette for kids is easy, and it is! Here are some actionable ways you can utilize a manners curriculum.
In The Classroom
The classroom environment is a great place to teach children some basic etiquette skills. They have the opportunity to practice engaging in conversation with both their peers and your staff.
You can also encourage them to show gratitude. Whether it’s to other students, teachers, or the principal, there are many opportunities to practice giving thanks. Learning to write a proper thank you note will go a long way as they grow up!
You can also teach your students to give proper greetings and farewells. Say good morning when the day starts and goodbye in the afternoon. Practice good manners by making eye contact and smiling, rather than calling out as they run through the door.
In the Cafeteria
The cafeteria is another great place to implement etiquette activities. There are so many teachable moments around the table!
You can go way beyond the basics, but don’t forget to work on those, too! Students should start by learning to place napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. From there, you can level up slowly!
Some easy ways to model etiquette for kids in the cafeteria include:
Model good conversations with your students by asking them lots of questions about themselves.
Encourage students to say please and thank you.
Teach your students to make eye contact when apologizing. They’ll pick up on it if you model it for them.
Encourage students to listen when others are talking and avoid interrupting.
Plan lunchtime activities that don’t include devices so that students have an opportunity to focus on one another and talk.
Elementary school is the perfect time to start teaching etiquette for kids. You have so many opportunities to encourage your students to be respectful of one another and themselves.
If you’re not sure where to start, give my manners curriculum a try! You’ll be able to share the joy of manners in a way that the children really respond to.
Teaching good manners in the classroom sets children up to become healthy, happy, and well-adjusted adults. A manners curriculum can make the difference between a student’s success and failure later in their lives.
Here’s why you should teach manners in your classroom.
Why Should Educators Consider A Manners Curriculum?
Although a manners curriculum may not have been part of your own education, it’s a valuable addition for children today.
Teaching manners in the classroom supports the development of children into well-adjusted members of society. Children of all ages can benefit from the addition of some well-placed manners lessons.
A manners curriculum gives students more opportunities to embrace. This sets them up for success in the future.
Unfortunately, many students aren’t taught proper manners or social skills in their homes. That’s why it’s such a valuable addition to classroom curriculum!
Children and teens still need to know these life skills, even if they aren’t learning at home.
A firm grasp on manners helps a child grow up into a responsible, caring, successful global citizen.
Benefits of Adding a Manners Curriculum to Your Classroom
It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching preschoolers or high school seniors. Students of all ages can benefit from a manners curriculum.
Adding this type of curriculum to your routine can give your students these valuable benefits!
Builds Foundational, Important Character In Students
A manners curriculum helps teach children values that will stick with them for life. These foundational character traits are actually about so much more than proper manners!
Students will build a foundation of trust in adults and society as a whole through this process. This is especially important if children aren’t receiving positive social interactions at home. Through their lessons, they learn respectful behavior habits, which will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Learning about manners gives students a sense of agency and makes them feel like important members of their community. When they feel that sense of connection, it’s easier for them to develop kindness.
A good manners curriculum also encourages students’ confidence. A confident child is better behaved and has an easier time making friends. A confident child feels comfortable showing off their true character. And, of course, a confident child is generally a happier child!
Teaching children how to be valuable parts of society includes helping them to develop leadership skills. Confident, well-behaved, and socially conscious children are more likely to embrace leadership opportunities. They are more likely to support the people around them and intuitively understand the nuances of leadership.
Helps Children Adapt To The World Around Them
A manners curriculum helps teach children to understand the world and enjoy life in a healthier way.
Children (and adults!) often feel stress because they aren’t sure what is expected from them in a given situation. This type of curriculum gives students the skills they need to interact with the world.
Good manners demonstrate a sense of self-awareness and respect towards others. It’s an exercise in empathy as much as anything else. Teaching children to show that they care by practicing good behaviors is a useful life skill.
Adding a manners curriculum also helps children learn to be positive. Throughout the curriculum, they are learning to interact with one another in genuine ways. They begin to monitor how their words and actions affect the people around them.
Build Important Lifelong Social Skills
A manners curriculum helps teach children lifelong social skills. For many students who aren’t receiving social guidance or positive interaction at home, it can impact their lives in significant ways!
Loneliness was something that children struggled with well before the pandemic. It’s an even worse problem now. Part of a manners curriculum is teaching children to build valuable conversation skills. They are given the opportunity to engage with adults and their peers in a healthy and meaningful way. They are taught that their words have value.
In learning basic table manners, children will learn a skill that will help them all throughout their lives. Educators spend their lunch with the students and are in the perfect position to teach them in a way that sticks.
Many children don’t even know where to place their napkin, how to hold a fork, or how to chew with their mouth closed. They will enjoy learning new skills, and their parents will certainly appreciate it too!
Adding a manners curriculum will help you to educate patient, thoughtful, and confident children. The social skills you impart will help them in situations way beyond the lunch table.
If you want to add a manners curriculum to your classroom and you need a little help, Manners To Go is the solution!