Lovely Lesson ~ 10 Ways to Embrace Being a Role Model


A favorite photo with a former eighth grade student who is now a lovely role model to the children she works with at the YMCA.

In my many years as a teacher, I was always humbled and a little frightened by the power I had over the climate of my classroom. Student behavior, attitude, and academic success are affected by many things, but nothing may influence it more than the role model standing at the front of the class. 

Over the years, I learned many things I could do to embrace my power as a role model and make life for everyone in my classroom a little lovelier.  

I must admit I witnessed things go downhill fast when I was having a bad day and acting crabby, lazy, or otherwise unbecoming. Why would students be their best, when their role model, isn’t? A better question I cannot imagine.

Although we are not all classroom teachers, we are all role models. As adults, we are constantly modeling behavior, whether we like it or not. I believe the lessons I learned in my classroom apply to everyone’s daily life at home, at work, and in public.

10 Ways to Be a Good Role Model ~ 

  1. Dress nicely and appropriately ~ Dressing well shows we respect ourselves and others enough to look our best.
  2. Speak kindly and respectfully ~ Our word choice and tone affects every single interaction we have with others and is often mirrored right back to us.
  3. Behave admirably and maturely ~ Acting silly or cool may garner some popularity votes, but remember, what they see is what you get. 
  4. Have a good attitude ~ No matter where we are or what we’re doing, our attitude is contagious. 
  5. Show self-control ~ The ability to control oneself, particularly in difficult situations, is one of the greatest traits of a good role model.
  6. Admit mistakes ~ Nobody’s perfect. Apologizing when we’re wrong shows humility and a willingness to do better next time. 
  7. Show compassion ~ If others learn nothing from us but this, it might be enough.
  8. Keep things clean and organized ~ Chaos does nothing to instill confidence in our ability or our dedication.
  9. When appropriate, add grace notes like music, flowers, or a dish of candy ~ It’s amazing what a big difference little things make. 
  10. Be the adult in the room. Someone has to do it. 

The influence we have on family, friends, coworkers, children, and even strangers, is humbling and empowering. Let’s embrace it. 

“If you can’t find a good role model, be one.” ~Gale Anne Hurd

Think On These Things ~A












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