Barneblad: Simple rules for school success
Mind your manners
A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids
Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall
With school starting again, there is so much to look forward to: learning new things, meeting new people, and making new friends.
But for some, there is some uncertainty that comes along with all this excitement: Will the new school year be too hard? Will my new teacher like me? Will I make new friends?
These questions are the same in Norway and the United States, and all over the world, for that matter. And everywhere there is one “Golden Rule” to follow to ensure your success: Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.
The basic rules for school success are very simple:
• Say hello
• Say please
• Say thank you
• Say excuse me
• Don’t interrupt
• Compliment others
• Always show respect for others
• Apologize if you’ve made a mistake
Don’t forget that school carries responsibilities:
• Make sure you behave on the way to and from school
• Keep your desk and classroom clean
• Always listen to your teacher
• Complete all homework
• Always be on time
A bully is someone who seeks to harm someone else and is a danger to others.
Be aware of the four different types of bullying:
• Physical: Hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing, or damaging someone’s property
• Verbal: Calling someone names, insulting or teasing them
• Social: Excluding someone from group activities and games
• Cyber: Posting hurtful and harmful things about someone online
Remember that bullying is NEVER acceptable, whether it is happening to you or someone else. This type of bad, dangerous behavior should be immediately reported to your teacher and parents.
Don’t be a Goop!
A bit of humor goes a long way when thinking about good and bad behavior. When I was a child, I read about the “Goops” with my parents, a manual of manners for children written over 100 years ago. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to be one of them—and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be either! The Goops are:
With a Paucity of Features.
Though their Forms are fashioned ill,
They have Manners stranger still;
For in Rudeness they’re Precocious,
They’re Atrocious, they’re Ferocious
Yet you’ll learn, if you are Bright,
Politeness from the Impolite.
When you’ve finished with the Book,
At your Conduct take a Look;
Ask yourself, upon the Spot,
Are you Goop, or are you Not?
For, although it’s Fun to See them
It is TERRIBLE to Be them!
(From The Goops and How to Be Them by Gelett Brugess, 1900. Public domain.)
Remember, it’s the “Golden Rule” of treating others the way you would to be treated that will best guide you through the school year. In the end, Goops and bullies will be left behind as you sail through life with success.
See also “Skolestart – Ready, set, back to school!”: www.norwegianamerican.com/features/skolestart-ready-set-back-school.
For information on bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html.
Lori Ann Reinhall is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association and state representative for Sister Cities International, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.
This article originally appeared in the September 6, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.