|Image from The Six Steps to Overcoming Adversity|
This immediately made me think of what I am trying to teach my students on a daily basis - lessons they can use throughout life. Instead of having a designated door holder, I teach my students how to hold the door for the person coming behind them and to say "thank you" and "you're welcome" as they take hold of the door before going through.
Another life lesson we work on is choosing our seats. I have a couch and ottomans that students can sit on during our whole group lesson. Needless to say, these are popular seats in my class. While students are gathering for our group, it is inevitable that someone will need to go back to their table for a pencil, a book, or something. So as others join the group they should ask if someone was already sitting in one of those spots before they sit down. We practice saying things like "Excuse me, is someone sitting here?" before taking a seat.
My goal is not to control who sits where, but to help them understand that kindness and respect goes a long way. Do they always get it right? No! But we're working on it.
Now, thanks to a very polite stranger, I have a new phrase to share next week, "Do you mind if I sit here?" I think that one will work well with choosing seats in the lunchroom, don't you?