A school in the American state of North Carolina, Druid Hills Academy in Charlotte is getting a lot of attention because teachers at the school no longer say please.

Since the word Please is a way to signal a request for a favour. But in the classroom setting, removing Please from student directives signals that a child’s participation is not a favour, but an expectation.

Teachers who are trained in the method provide kids with concise, clear instructions in an M.V.P. (Movement, Voice and Participation) format that gives students zero room for misbehaviour. As children follow the teacher’s commands, they are distinguished in front of their peers. For example: 

Madison is sitting with her legs crossed on the carpet. Alex has joined us on the carpet and is sitting quietly. Jessica has put her book away and is walking to the carpet without speaking, the teacher narrates.

This provides the chance for students who are following the rules to be recognized. Since all too often, well-behaved students are ignored while teachers focus on reprimanding children who are not. But here, teachers do not negotiate, and they don’t ask Please either.

Advocates of the method believe that removing Please lets children know that following instructions is not an option, and that students are not doing the teacher any favours by doing as they are told. Students are simply expected to comply, and when they do not, they aren’t allowed to take up precious instruction time. After a clear verbal warning, students who continue to misbehave are given a consequence for their actions.

Praise is focused ONLY on those who excel and achieve. Teachers believe that overtime, this clarity and consistency creates an environment where children strive to be recognized for positive behaviou; because they believe that humans don’t need to be congratulated for doing every mundane act that comes with being alive.

Rather, children are taught to value and trust their own feelings about the outcome of their performance, rather than depend on wishy-washy congratulations for everything they do.

“Good job eating!”

“Way to go, honey! You put your stuff away!”

“Wow! Nice job taking a shower!

These empty, valueless praises instill the belief that a child needs a verbal reward for doing what every other person in all of humanity has done, often on a daily basis which they really do not.

In conclusion, kids are empowered to be better, less self-centered versions of themselves who listen to their parents and teachers, and focus on achievements, not negative attention. No-Nonsense Nurturing — and not saying please — seems to make a whole lot of sense in this regard.

This article was adapted from www.sheknows.com

See Also: How Often Do You Say “Please” and “Thank You”?