An Initiative Championed by the
Contra Costa County
Superintendent of Schools
Top 10 Principles
Chosen by the 2013-14
Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year
Acknowledge Others (August/September)
Speak Kindly (November)
Accept and Give Praise (December)
Respect Others’ Opinions (January)
Be Inclusive (February)
Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame (April)
Accept and Give Constructive Criticism (May)
Think the Best (June)
Choosing Civility, by Dr. P.M. Forni, lists twenty-five rules of considerate conduct. Over this school year, we will consider these “principles.”
“Respect Other People's Time”
Choose Civility Principle for March
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of.”
Ever planned to meet a friend at 10:00, only to have the friend show up at 10:20 without even an apology for arriving late? Time is a precious commodity, and we need to treat other people's time as valuable as our own.
Here are a few ideas from Dr. Forni on respecting other people's time:
- Be punctual. Punctuality is nonnegotiable. Arriving on time is a basic rule of considerate behavior.
- If you are going to be more than 5 minutes late, call.
- Cancel plans only in case of emergency. Canceling on short notice is rude.
- When you call someone on the phone, check to make sure it is a good time for the other person to talk. If not, suggest another more convenient time for both.
- Keep both phone and in person conversations short. We are all busy people, and others appreciate brevity.
- Be fully present for the person you are with. Minimize interruptions, and don't take cell phone calls or text. Only an emergency justifies such behavior.
- Wait your turn in line. Demanding immediate attention is uncivil and ineffective.
- Answer e-mails and return phone calls. Don't waste others' time by having to contact you a second or third time to get a response.
- Meet deadlines and turn things in early or on time.
- Always give others the amount of time that they can rightfully expect from you.
Action step: Resolve to respect other people's time, valuing it as you do your own.
Excerpt from P.M. Forni's book, Choosing Civility
PDF download: Monthly Focus for March
Civility is a core value of a well functioning community and one of its defining components. Quality of life depends in great part on how community members treat each other. This initiative will promote the importance of civility in a world becoming less civil, and encourage community members to choose positive and respectful behaviors in their personal and work lives.
What and How?
The initiative is inspired by the work of Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct. Through a broad-based, collaborative effort, the goal is to transform Dr. Forni's concepts into a concrete plan that can be easily integrated into the culture of government, businesses, organizations, schools, neighborhoods, and families throughout the community.
The Twenty-five Principles of Considerate Conduct
- Pay Attention
- Acknowledge Others
- Think the Best
- Be Inclusive
- Speak Kindly
- Don’t Speak Ill
- Accept and Give Praise
- Respect Even a Subtle “NO”
- Respect Others’ Opinions
- Mind Your Body
- Be Agreeable
- Keep It Down (and Rediscover Silence)
- Respect Other People’s Time
- Respect Other People’s Space
- Apologize Earnestly
- Assert Yourself
- Avoid Personal Questions
- Care for Your Guests
- Be a Considerate Guest
- Think Twice Before Asking for Favors
- Refrain from Idle Complaints
- Accept and Give Constructive Criticism
- Respect the Environment and Be Gentle to Animals
- Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame
|Civility Initiative Resolutions Passed (by City)
|San Pablo *
|Civility Initiative Resolutions Passed
(by School District)
|CCCOE/Board of Education
|Liberty Union High School District
|John Swett Unified School District
|West Contra Costa Unified School District
|Pittsburg Unified School District
|Byron Union School District
|San Ramon Valley Unified School District
|Oakley Union Elementary School District
|Walnut Creek School District
|Antioch Unified School District
|Brentwood Union School District
|Mount Diablo Unified School District
|Knightsen Elementary School District
|Canyon Elementary School District
|Lafayette School District
|Moraga School District
|Martinez Unified School District*
|Orinda Union School District
|Acalanes Union High School District
|Contra Costa Council
|32nd District PTA
|Interview with Jim Caroompas; Martinez Patch.com
|Contra Costa County Supervisors
|Contra Costa Times, Tom Barnidge (columnist) "What a Quaint Notion—a Return to Civility"
|FECCC BTSA Induction Program~Liberty Union HSD/Todd Airola Far East Contra Costa BTSA Induction Coordinator
|Clayton Valley Charter High School*
|Contra Costa Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development (LPC)
|Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce
*Personal presentations made at city council meetings
The CCCOE gratefully acknowledges the Stanislaus County Office of Education for their work on this initiative.
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