I have often wondered where having or showing respect comes from - is it as a part of our good behaviour, good manners, solid moral upbringing, school or just an element of being a decent human being?
Or is respect for other people different from respecting other cultures or religions? There is no doubt that respect cannot be limited only to people but should also include showing respect for animals, nature or property. Regardless of where our sense of respect comes from, showing respect for each other is essential, in spite of our diversities or points of view. Two people having respect for each other do not necessarily share a similar system of values or the same opinions. There are many examples of great rivalries in sports that were founded on mutual respect, Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson or James Hunt vs. Niki Lauda. Similarly, many great military leaders could be on totally opposite war fronts yet show and maintain respect for each other, Rommel vs Montgomery or Wellington vs. Napoleon.
Why is embodying respect in our daily routines and towards each other so important? Various studies demonstrate that showing respect in our relationships creates a feeling of trust, safety, and wellbeing, for ourselves and for the ones around us. This is why a mutual respect between students, students and teachers, teachers and parents is so important as it helps to generate a feeling of trust and safety that, as a result, enhances the process of teaching and learning at TBS Warsaw. The sense of mutual respect and trust is especially important during the challenging times of a pandemic. We, as educators at TBS Warsaw, have recognized that embodying respect in our daily school life, in a classroom, hallway, canteen or playground is a fundamental element of making our school a better place for students and teachers. Students’ language, body language, facial expressions and their actions are all part of showing respect for each other and this is a message that we all need to continue passing on to students each day, in the classroom and at home.
Dr Jacek Łatkowski