“R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Find out what it means to me…”

These lyrics made famous by Aretha Franklin can help us a lot when it comes to effectively engaging and mentoring our students. The truth is that when it comes to defining “respect,” every student in your group might have a different answer.  Many students associate respect with fear. Some might think that respecting someone simply means being good when their around.

As a mentor, we need to help them redefine respect as giving value to other people. But in order to do that effectively, we need to find out what comes to mind when students think about respect.

When it comes to guiding students to the proper definition of respect, here are four critical questions:

  1. What is respect?
  2. Do you think everyone deserves respect? Why or why not?
  3. Why is it harder to respect someone if they don‘t respect you first?
  4. What are some things you can remember when you don‘t want to treat someone else with respect?

These four questions will help you get a sense of what the word “respect” means to your students. You might find that some have never taken the time to really think about what respect means and how it has made a difference in their relationships.

t1l1_BlogGraphic_2-3When it’s boiled down, respect is simply treating others the way you want to be treated in all situations. While some students think that their parents or teachers are the only ones who deserve respect, when we think about it with the proper mindset, it’s easy to realize that everyone deserves respect, even when they’ve wronged you.

Asking these questions give you the chance to create opportunities to teach students the true definition of respect and encourage them to think about how it impacts their daily interactions.

What are some other questions you’ve used to gage how your students define respect?

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