Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Don’t Stand On Ceremony


How often do we choose ceremony over relationships?  At home, this can look like requiring obedience to silly rules.  At school, it takes on a pretty insidious role.  Do I choose to make myself look good?  Like the teacher who has her little ducklings all quietly standing in a row, or do I meet the need of the child who needs my attention that particular moment.  Will the world end if students are talking in line?  Who are they hurting?  I truly struggle with some of the rules we impose on students.  If the goal is respecting other classrooms by being quiet in the hallway, why must we be quiet standing in lines where there’s NOT a classroom nearby?

I liked what Greta Sandler @gret had to say about rules in the classroom during her session on Student at the Reform Symposium 2011.  She has one rule.


Respect yourself. Respect each other.  Respect the environment.

Shall we be a little more like Maria and a little less like the Captain? ((And I get that we have to have some rules- Stop signs exist for a reason… but must we legislate every little piece of student conduct?)) Hmmm…. she got much better results by focusing on her relationship with the children rather than imposing order via bosun’s whistle.

Photo by bschmove on Flickr.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Stand On Ceremony

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Don’t Stand On Ceremony -- Topsy.com

  2. Yes please! We need to think about what rules are really necessary (for safety) and what rules we impose just to have another rule. Respect is really what it all comes down to.