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Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Dignity is the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.

I believe that all people deserve dignity, and I am wondering about the practices that create and develop dignity for educators, students, leaders, and families?

Who has treated you with dignity lately? What did they do? What did that feel like?

Who has not treated you with dignity? How did that occur?

When we work with children how do we protect and develop their sense of dignity to self and others?

One way to develop dignity in schools is the notion of shared leadership. When an educator is a team leader rather than a boss, she/he creates a culture of dignity in the classroom? To include students in the decision making and ongoing learning conversation leads to dignity. To acknowledge students' gifts and voices creates dignity too.

One's mannerisms also create and extend dignity.

Of course there are cultural and experiential dimensions to dignity--what one feels is dignified may not agree with what another considers dignity.

In any conversation that we have about our students, we should make sure that we protect their dignity first. The same is true for collegial conversations and leadership events.

Today as I teach my young fifth graders, I'll think about the topic of dignity and I'll look for ways to dignify the students and my colleagues as I teach.