Manners: Who’s job is it anyway?

This past Sunday, after being cooped up in the house with sick kids for two days, my wife and I decided to head to Target.  I wished I would have stayed home.  I am very appalled at the manners people have today.  What ever happened to the words “excuse me”?  Obviously it is too much to ask for in today’s world.  Four different times people cut my wife or myself off on their way to their destination within the store.  My wife actually had a lady cut in front of her in the check-out line and had absolutely no remorse for doing it.  In addition, my wife described a time where she was making a left hand turn and there was a lady turning right from the opposite direction and that lady was upset because my wife was the one that made the legal turn into the closest lane and the other woman driving wanted that lane. She flipped my wife off.  Alrighty then!

Without a doubt this is a huge issue.  My colleagues and I have to constantly redirect students to walk around adults talking in the hallway instead of going between them.  Or, if they have to walk between two adults they need to be polite and say excuse me.  We also see burping and farting in our classroom like it is no big deal.  One of my colleagues has had to kick out students numerous times for their inability to “hold it”.  We constantly see kids trying to talk over each other all the time and they interrupt each other.  The reaction by students when confronted is what gets me the most.  Students act like we are blowing things out of proportion when in reality we are trying to teach them manners and to become a better citizen.

The saying “It takes a community to raise a child” is true, no doubt.  However, the picture being painted for me is becoming clearer and clearer. That picture includes me being the one who teaches children manners.  As a teacher, I have different roles and I am fine with that.  On the other hand, where is the parents when it comes to manners?  I now see why my students act the way they do from time to time.  Manners need to be taught at home.  Using excuses doesn’t set well with me either.  In a recent conversation with a parent outside of my school district, they actually told me the reason their child is so rude and disrespectful is because their child is a stubborn redhead.  Really?  I am a redhead, I have always been a redhead and I have never disrespected my elders.  I knew enough to say, “excuse me” and “sorry to interrupt”.  My own children know enough to say excuse me and they know how to cover their mouths when they cough.

If I am going to be required to teach manners, can I please have some curriculum to follow?  I am not sure how other teachers or individuals feel, but dealing with manners has become a regular part of my daily routine at school.  It is discouraging to think generations are being raised without manners.  I can only believe this is going to lead to some very disheartening events down the road with these students are disrespectful in so many facets.