It's not my favorite quality to spin on things but I am a work in progress. A basic lack of human kindness and a modest amount of respect is one of those things that really bothers me. This week in class the Mat Chat just happens to be......Respect. We rotate every two weeks on a topic involving developing a strong character and have some great discussions. These Mat Chats are the most important part of our program and we have 204 topics we rotate throughout the years. You see anyone can kick or punch (check out Youtube if you don't believe me) but respect is like that extra magical ingredient that separate us from most activities. My students are awesome no doubt and they are all learning character traits that are not being valued as much anymore. Why do we focus on things that have little value or that people just think are silly? I feel it's still the right thing to do. You see forgetting to say Sir or Ma'am are not a option in my class they are an absolute. I call my students Sir or Ma'am always with no exceptions. I never yell at them or be little them ever. I never humiliate or make them feel less than period. I never punish them in front of others or in private, but I do honor their choices because I respect their ability to be human sometimes make mistakes. We all make mistakes and how we react to them sends them on a path of growth or on a path self doubt. You see I am up against every electronic gadget and excuse every dreamt of. There are a million things they could be doing besides improving and challenging themselves and I understand and appreciate that. When they come to my school there have been many sacrifices made to be there at that moment on both our parts. Respect is the acknowledgement of those sacrifices and our own unique abilities and qualities. I always tell the kids when they answer me with "yep" or "yeah" or "hey you" or even worse "dude" that those are my cousins and my name is "Sir" or Mr. Tibbetts or Master Tibbetts and I only answer to those names. I follow up that gentle reminder with a sir or ma'am at the end. I value respect in all it's forms because respect and love are pretty cool counterparts. I make it a point to lead by example. I don't need to burden anyone else with my shortcomings but I can honor the person in front of me for who they are and whom they wish to be by showing them a little respect.
Brent Tibbetts (Me)