New Testament Putting Class Back into the Classroom
Students learn different aspects of etiquette.
Seventh and eighth graders at New Testament Christian School are getting a lesson in etiquette in Mrs. Jennifer Baldino’s class.
The etiquette class is part of the health curriculum for seventh and eighth grade. Baldino has been teaching the class for five years. She got the idea while watching a news program about a company whose sole purpose is to educate CFOs and CEOs on getting through the dining experience.
“You can go to any restaurant or any event where there are lots of people and see adults that don’t know how to hold a knife and fork and that don’t observe what should be commonplace understanding of etiquette,” Baldino said.
She learned these skills home economics class in junior high school and wants to make sure her students are prepared for just about any situation. Their curriculum has included ballroom dancing, conversation, dining, shaking hands, writing thank-you notes and more.
Baldino also make sure that the class stays current. Email etiquette, for example, is something that has come into existence in the past 10 years or so. This ties into other topics such as conflict resolution and communication.
“Part of our mission statement here is to equip our kids to go out into the world," Baldino said. "And that means that they have to be able to navigate through a number of different societies, potentially cultures, and different manners and different types of expectations. Having some basic etiquette skills gives them sort of an edge.”
"Manners are about making the other person feel comfortable."
Baldino has been teaching these skills in the classroom and then has them practice. The course will end with a final exam at her house. She will host a dinner party, and students must demonstrate all the skills they have learned.
“For any teacher, seeing your kids use what they learn in the classroom in the real world is very, very rewarding. And this type of stuff is very practical for them,” Baldino said.
Dining Etiquette Tips:
- Solids go to the left of the diner, liquids on the right.
- Pass food from the left to the right. Do not stretch across the table.
- When faced with a number of utensils, start from the outside and work your way in.
- When a lady gets up from the table, men should also stand up, helping her with the chair.
- When getting up from a table, place your napkin on the chair, not the table.
- Once used, your utensils, including the handles, must not touch the table again. Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or in the bowl.