Simple words are powerful |

Simple words are powerful

I am writing because Josh Wimmer’s April 5 column on rudeness impressed me.

Please. Thank you. Excuse me. You’re welcome. I am sorry. I have a compliment for you. These phrases are mandatory in our classroom. The results? Every student feels empowered, significant, special, important, capable. And their successes in school reflect their self-confidence and desire to shine.

The young ladies and gentlemen in our classroom represent the socioeconomic diversity within Grass Valley. Some students come into school knowing manners and speaking proper English, while other students do not. Regardless, each child is taught to use social skills and is expected to treat everyone with respect and kindness.

By being polite and following The Golden Rule, our classroom has become a magical environment. We feel good about ourselves and one another, and potential hurt feelings and conflicts are pro-actively diffused. We love to imagine our society as an extension of our school life. This standard of behavior is so simple. The impact is so profound. What a huge influence words and attitudes can have in making our world safer, pleasant and productive.

Melissa Fowlkes


Hennessy Elementary School, Grass Valley

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