In the past, I have read some of Daniel Goleman’s books and they always resonated with me, but I’m not sure I actually changed much as a teacher and colleague as a result .  This year, one of my professional and personal goals  is to learn more about Social Emotional Learning in order to make positive changes to the way I interact with students and colleagues.

I’ve started my learning journey this year by  focusing on the word “dignity”.  When thinking about how I communicate with students and colleagues, I really like the second definition from dictionary.com for dignity: nobility or elevation of character; worthiness.  That sounds like something an educator should be doing for others, as well as for themselves.

As expected, I haven’t been completely successful, early in the year, when I was getting tired towards the end of the day, I used public discipline instead of private reminders.  I quickly realized what I had done, and found ways to rebuild the relationship over the next couple of class periods with the student.  After the class when I was thinking about what had happened, I remembered a cliché from teachers’ college: “praise in public and discipline in private”.  If I keep this in mind, it will help me maintain my dignity as well as that of my students.

That will help me when I’m speaking with others, but how about when I’m listening?

Recently, a member of my On-line Professional Learning Community has turned me on to the blog titled: Leadership Freak.  In one of his recent postings, Dan Rockwell talks about listening.  I’m thinking about what he has to say and I’ll be trying some of his ideas over the next couple weeks.   I’ll keep your posted…

In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote.

“Dignity does not consist of possessing honours, but in deserving them.”  ~Aristotle

What helps you retain dignity for yourself and others?  I’d love to hear.


About ibdanmagie

Generalist Educator that believes learning without action is wasteful. Transfer is an educational concept that resonates with me.
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2 Responses to Dignity

  1. James Forsythe says:

    Hi there,

    I too struggle with what exactly Social and Emotional Learning(SEL) means in the classroom on a daily basis and my school has SEL written into it’s mission. Dignity is as good a starting place as any, but no matter which concept you start from (dignity, emotions, esteem etc), it boils down to identifying and managing emotions. In order to do so you most be able to relax, but also pay attention(be mindful) despite what is happening in real time. This is hard enough to do as an adult, let alone a child. Linda Lantieri has written a book, Building Emotional Intelligence which lays out strategies for kids to learn how to relax and pay attention.

    I always took for granted that kids knew how to do this, but now realize these are skills that need to be taught. So in my classroom we work on these skills every once in a while, because once you have the ability to relax properly and pay attention effectively you will be better prepared to handle conflict, or in the case of a teacher manage conflict.

    I guess this is the starting place and having your kids and yourself recognize this starting place puts them and you in a position to be more socially and emotionally intelligent. Or have the ability to be more dignified in handling the conflict you refer to above.

    Hope this makes sense. I own the Lantieri book, which incidently has an introduction by Danial Goleman. I can share it.

    • ibdanmagie says:

      Hi James,

      Thanks for reading and an even BIGGER thanks for commenting. I like your additional thoughts and I’d love to borrow that book you mentioned.

      On another note, I’m also eager to get your blog address :-).

      Take care and give it too,


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