The Essential 55 by author Ron Clark who won the “America Teacher Prize” in 2001, is no longer just for pupils, students, but some skills in this book are for all adults; from office staffs to professors, doctors, from politicians to all classes of society. The skills are a scientific and erudite combination between education in school and lessons, valuable practical experiences from life, and these things will promote efficient, specially the development in personality, personality and capacity of pupils, students from the time for school until mature age. With the thought that, these skills should be trained throughout the school years in the school, so it becomes habits, the habits become a natural action, from the nature action will become nature of each person and it will make a difference for your child’s future, we would like to introduce most of skills that the author Ron Clark showed with addition and editting of some skills to keep them in line with Vietnamese’s culture.
Principle No. 1: WHEN ANSWERING ADULTS
When answering the older person, you must be polite, not just nodding or shaking your head, as well as speaking to empty benches. It is one of the most important principles, because it represents attitude of respect that everyone expects, it is not only necessary when children interact with adults, but also very important when adults communicate together.
Principle No. 2: MAKE EYE CONTACT
Keep your eyes contact with who you’re talking. When someone expresses an opinion or you suggest opinion to someone, let’s look at them. This not only demonstrates your confidence, but also implies that you respect who you’re talking to.
Principle No. 3: CONGRATULATE YOUR CLASSMATE
When someone wins a game or just achieve a achievement, we will congratulate and clap together at least three seconds. Of course you can express feelings in different ways, as long as it demonstrates that you appreciate such achievement. In a group, when a few people begin to clap, all of us will jointly clap the hand
Principle No. 4: RESPECT YOUR CLASSMATES’ OPINIONS AND COMMENTS
During the discussions, we need to respect the comments, views and ideas of others. At the appropriate time, express your thoughts in the following ways: “I agree with Hung’s idea, but I think that …”, or: “I do not agree with Hung’s comment. Although he mentioned the problem, but in my opinion … “, or maybe” I think Hung’s opinion is so great, and it makes me realize that … “
Principle No. 5: HEALTHY DEBATE
While still in school as well as in life afterwards, we can not avoid the debates with friends and relatives on many different aspects of life and we should regard that it is essential to understand each other better and to have a a sustainable friendship. However, for having a healthy debate, we should exercise the habits such as: (1) Stop expressing myself properly. (2) Do not offend others. (3) Select the appropriate time. (4) Never absolutely confirm. (5) No rambling, “one thing led to another.” (6) Listen and do not be protested. (7) Check for what you hear.
Principle No. 6: NEITHER CONCEITED IN VICTORY NOR DISCOURAGED BY FAILURE
When you are the winner in a certain game, never give into hubris; when you loose, never be depressed. Let’s say: “This race is really exciting, I hope to compete with you in the next time,” or “You play very well!”, or no need to say anything. If you give attitude of pique or complaint like: “I just did not give you everything I have, but in fact you’re not very good at all!” you are proving that you are just a peckerwood
Principle No. 7: WHEN YOU ARE ASKED, ASK THEM BACK
During a conversation, if someone asks you something, after answering, you should ask him again. For example, if someone else askes: “You have a nice weekend?”, You should reply: “Well, I had wonderful holidays. My family went shopping together. What about you, you have a good weekend, too? “. It is polite to express your caring to them and to respond their interest to you
Principle No. 8: COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN COUGHING OR SNEEZING, THEN SAY I’M SORRY
When coughing, sneezing or belching, you must turn your head way and cover your mouth with hand, but not using your fist. Then you need to say: “I’m sorry!”, and should wash your hands afterwards if you can, or wipe your hand.
Principle No. 9: DO NOT TAKE ACTION OF DISRESPECTING OTHERS
We are not allowed to whistle, look sternly or take actions of disrespecting to others. Such actions will hurt others, in some cases, may get you in trouble. Do not criticize or say negative things about others, whether say face-to-face or behind their back. All people have self-respect and not to hurt it.
Principle No. 10: WHEN RECEIVED ANYTHING, LET’S SAY THANK YOU
When received anything, you must say thank you like: “Thank grandparents, dad, mom, teacher, aunt, uncle; thank brother, sister; thank you, … “. Acknowledgement should be told within three seconds, otherwise every apology is very difficulty to be accepted. Never offend giver with negative comments about the gift, or speak in parables that you are not waiting for such gift.
Principle No. 11: SURPRISE OTHERS WITH CAREFUL ATTENTION
Let’s surprise the people around by actions expressing interest, and often bring them with joy. The surprise here is not limited as small gifts, but should understand more broadly as the small, meaningful things that you put your mind to perform.
Principle No. 12: STAY FOCUSED DURING READING LESSON
During the reading lesson, the students should pay attention to catch up on the curriculum, and when the teachers ask, the students can know exactly where to read. This helps limit state of dull, wandering attitude of the students, of course the teachers also need to read expressively, turn into the character and choose the readings with compelling content that switches on students’ imagination. During reading, the students not only learn new words, but also train correct pronunciation. This is the way to get rich of vocabulary for children and simultaneously create reading habit for them later.
Principle No. 13: NO USE OF CELL PHONE IN CLASS AND SOME PUBLIC PLACES
Turn off cell phone or turn on vibrating feature when entering classroom. In the classroom and some public places such as meeting room, workshop, theater, cinema … absolutely not calling. If the call is too necessary, must go out of the room to hear.
Principle No. 14 ANSWER WITH COMPLETE SENTENCE
When replying, you must use complete sentences. For example, when asked: “Please name the Russian capital?”, You have to write: “The capital of Russia is the Mat-xkva”. In communication, answering questions in a complete sentence is a way to show respect for questioner. For example, if someone asks, “How are you?”, Instead of answering: “Fine,” you should say: “Thank you, I’m fine. And you?”. This principle also helps students develop a written language and thinking ability.
Principle No. 15: NOT ASK FOR REWARD]
Throughout the school year, Clark always prepare rewards for obedient students with good academic qualifications. However, if there is someone in the class requires for rewards, they would not be given, that is the principle of Clark. We should strive to perfect ourselves, not to be rewarded, and it is very rude when asking someone to reward even that person is relative and sibling.
Principle No. 16: COMPLETE HOMEWORK EVERYDAY
All students are not allowed to complain and have to complete homework (if any). Homework is one of the tasks of students, through it, you can learn how to do the job on time and have a serious style of work since you were little. In life, you will meet peers with positive and negative thoughts everywhere, and make sure that you always like to work with colleagues with positive thoughts, do not like working with people who always bother you with complaints about the work and life.
Principle No. 17: KEEP SILENCE WHILE TRANSFERING PERIOD
Period (changing classrooms because each classroom has specialized tools for each subject or for the students can exercise in class) need to take place quickly and orderly. The students should prepare neccessary book and instrument for the next subjects as quick as possible. The time for doing this working is 10 seconds, and we will try to draw down to 7 seconds. Living with plan, not affecting the people around and striving to complete planned goals before starting a new activity is required for all of us.
Principle No. 18: KEEP NEAT AND TIDY
All supplies, books, pens, tools, studying area …must be arranged in a neat and tidy manner. The habit of tidy is not just necessary in school, but also in both life and work later.
Principle No. 19: ALWAYS RESPECT CLASSROOM RULES, EVEN IF STUDYING WITH A SUPPLY TEACHER
In the class with a supply teacher, all classroom rules must be maintained (this is a difficult regulation, but extremely important). “when the cat is away, the mice will play” as the saying goes , but you should understand that we learn for our future and need self-discipline at all times, even when there is no one for supervising and speeding up.
Principle No. 20: RESPECT ALL RULES IN CLASS
We must follow the rules in class, arrange things orderly and complete all assigned tasks. To do that, we should adhere to the following rules:
a. Should not leave the seat without teacher’s permission. But if don’t feel well, you are allowed to leave the seat immediately.
b. Not allowed to speak unless: (1) You raise your hand, and the teacher allows. (2) the teacher asks questions, and you answer. (3) During recess and lunch time. (4) the teacher allowed (eg, teamwork).
Principle No. 21: DURING SCHOOL HOURS, DO NOT GET OUT TO TAKE WATER
The students should not bring cakes and snacks to school, can bring water bottles, but not ask for permission to drink when the teachers are lecturing. Each of us will work better if we live in a comfortable environment.
Principle No. 22: REMEMBER NAME OF SCHOOL TEACHERS
The students need to remember the name of the teachers in school. In Vietnam, we do not salute the teachers attaching their name. However, remenbering teachers’ name shows respect and affection. You should salute all teachers in the school when seeing them (note, students are not allowed to talk while lining, but can greet the teachers when just arriving the school or before leaving, during recess, or during changing period). It’s surprising that many neighbors do not know the name of each other, so this aims that the children actively ask to know name of the people around, friends and always show friendly polite attitude to everyone.
Principle No. 23: ALWAYS KEEP BODY AND TOILET CLEAN
Be sure to flush a toilet after you use it, before fliushing water must let the toilet seat up. Always wash hands with soap after using the toilet. At public toilet, if your hands are too dirty, use toilet paper to line when opening faucet for washing hand.
Principle No. 24: WELCOME GUESTS AND MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE
School is a place that often has guests. Whenever the guests come, you should stand at the school gate to greet them. The assigned students have task of shaking hands to welcome them, introducing yourself, and then leading them to visit around school before taking them to the classroom. You can apply this method when having the guests visiting office, enjoying the party in trading companies. The guests will feel more comfortable in a new environment.
Principle No. 25: NOT KEEP SEAT IN THE DINING ROOM
The students are not allowed to hold seats during lunchtime. If someone wants to sit down, let them sit. We are a family and members must treat each other with a friendly attitude and respect.
Principle No. 26: NOT STARE AT PERSON BE FINED
When the teachers in school are talking or punishing a certain student, other students are not allowed to stare at her/him. Similarly, none of us want to get people’s attention when being in trouble or reprimanded. If being punish that there is someone staring with curiosity, the students do not express anger or fight with them, but immediately notify the teacher to handle in time. Conversely, if you are unfortunately grounded, you should not staring at the teachers.
Principle No. 27: IF HAVE WONDERING ABOUT EXERCISE, MAKE TEACHERS A CALL
When there is any questions related to homework, the students can make a phone call to the teachers. If teachers not answer the phone, let’s leave a message: “Mr, I am … I want to ask you the exercise No. … You can call me back before … hour. Thank you ‘. Today, in business, people will be more pleased to be able to communicate with suppliers whenever they have questions about the product, or when want to discuss on cooperation.
Principle No. 28: ETIQUETTE RULES FOR DINNING
When having opportunity to attend the luxurious parties according to European style, we need to understand some principles of eating, which will help you not feel embarrassed. There are many principles to be applied in eating issues, Clark calls as polite style on the table.
a. Quickly place the napkin on your lap, where the napkin is used to wrap tableware with silver, or folded on the table or to placed in the cup.
b. Put the napkin on the table, on the left of plate after you finish eating.
c. Never rest your elbows on the table
d. Only use one hand to eat, unless you must cut the food, or butter. Never use a hand with fork (chopstick), a hand with cup.
e. If your hand has bits of food stuck, you may not use tongue to lick, should use the napkin to wipe.
f. Not smack your lips, or cause any sound while chewing.
g. You do not open your mouth while chewing.
h. Not talk while your mouth full of food.
i. If you have bits of food stuck in between teeth, you do not do everything to fork them out in front of everyone.
j. When the dish with water, you should not drink with noise.
k. You are not allowed to turn the food into toys.
l. If you drop fork (chopstick) or certain supplies while eating, you do not pick them up.
m. Some things like cup, mug, towel, spoon, or food that are not placed in front of you, but by your side , you should take on your right hand.
n. You use knife, fork for most dishes, but some dishes you could use your hands: Pizza, bacon, biscuit, bread, maize (corn-eat each row), hot dog, hamburger, sandwich, chips, chicken, asparagus, fruits such as grape, apple … some others required to use hand: Crab, spider crab, snail …)
o. You are not allowed to lean across the plate of others when want to get something out of reach, you should ask someone sitting near such object and say, “Can you reach me, please…”
p. You should start eating when already sit right side and complete the preparations.
q. At the restaurant, you are not allowed to eat until everyone receives the food.
r. You should not ruin the party atmosphere because of complaints about queue, waiting for a long time or the bad food.
s. When having many knives, forks or spoons on the sides, you should start with the fork, knife, or spoon located away from the dish. The next dishes gradually get into.
t. After eating, you do not push the dish away but hold position. You may notice you already finish eating by placing a knife, fork diagonally on the top of plate, or put close together on the plate. You should tip the fork’s pointy end down and put the blade toward you.
u. If continue using, place knife, fork on the plate or tray, do not put on the table.
v. For things not be used, stay their position.
w. Make eye contact with waiter when ordering, when having any requests, or when saying thank.
x. When introduced, you should try to remember water’s name. Try to call water’s name correctly when you have any requests.
y. When need to use the toilet, let’s say, “I have to excuse myself” before leaving the table.
z. When ordering dessert or when the waiter asks, let’s ask again: “What options do I have?” To avoid calling the food that restaurant does not have .
aa. You are not allowed to treat the waters like servants. Be respectful and polite.
In the family meal, must invite grandparents and parents before taking your food. No talking, talking loudly, laughing while eating.
Principle No. 29: AFTER MEAL, LET’S COLLECT GARBAGE CLEANLY
After eating, you have to clean things cleanly. This includes cleaning the table and picking pieces of trash on the floor or around the eating area up. You need dispose waste at the prescribed place. After the meal in the family, you should help parents, brothers and sisters pack plates and dishes, clean tables and chairs.
Principle No. 30: BEFORE LEAVING HOUSE AND AFTER COMING HOME
Before going to school or going out, must keep the body clean, clothes and hair neat, say good bye or ask grandparents, parents’ permission and say good bye to children. Coming home must to greet grandparents, parents, siblings and older people.
Principle No. 31: KEEP THE FACE FORWARD ON THE BUS
When sitting on the bus, you have to sit forward. Do not lean over to talk with other people, not poke your head or wave your hands out of the window or leave your seats, not play or throw any objects out of the car while it is running. When getting off off, you should thank driver and wish him a good day. This principle is also applied when the children travel by any other means.
Principle No. 32: AFTER EACH TRIP, LET SAY GOODBYE AND THANK TO ADULTS IN PROCESSION OF VISITORS, DRIVER AND ASSISTANT DRIVER
After each collective outing, you should say good bye teachers and other adults in the group and thank them for taking time to take you out. This expresses gratitude to those who took the time to help you. This principle is also applied to other cases when you get the help.
Principle No. 33: WHEN TRAVEL IN MEANS OF TRANSPORT
When traveling on public transport such as buses, subways, you should not sitting on bench for the old, the handicapped, automatically give up your seat for the old, the handicapped, pregnant women and young children . Do not jostle when getting on and off the car, let the old, pregnant women and children get on the car before.
Principle No. 34: WHEN PARTICIPATING TRAFFIC
When traveling by vehicles such as bicycles, electric bicycles, motorcycles (at the permitted age when having driving-licenses) must observe the traffic regulations, not chase, run zigzag, play on the road …for preventing yourself and other people from accident. When going on foot must walk on sidewalk, not play, push each other, and not talk loudly. Only cross the street at specified places when having signal that allows pedestrians to across the street; attent to help the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, and small children.
Principle No. 35: STAND ON THE RIGHT SIDE WHILE USING ESCALATOR. STAND ON BOTH SIDES WHILE WAITING ESCALATOR.
When using the escalator, you should stand on the right, because the left is spent for those who are in a hurry. While waiting to take the elevator, or entering the subway turnstile, you should stand (queue when crowded) on the sides of the door in order to not entangle aisle and wait until everyone goes out then you go into. You should stand neatly on the back and both sides to spend space for the next persons.
Principle No. 36: WHEN MEETING NEW ACQUAINTANCES, LET’S SHAKE HANDS, INTRODUCE AND CALL THEIR NAME
In the extracurricular classes, exchanges, you will have the opportunity to meet new friends. You should proactively handshake, introduce yourself, and remember their name. When taking leave, come to shake hands, say goodbye and always call their name correctly. For adults should greet in polite and thank them for the help.
Principle No. 37: JUST TAKE SUFFICIENT FOOD
When invited to eat, whether in class or at a party, you should not take more than the part divided, if not, you will become a glutton person in the eyes of the people around. Do not take too much but cannot eat them all, because this is not only wasteful, but also demonstrates your lack of respect for others while leaving them too little food. When eating at a buffet party is the same, take enough to eat, not take redundancy.
Principle No. 38: IF SOMEONE DROPPES SOMETHING NEAR YOUR PLACE, PICK IT UP AND GIVE IT TO THEM
Anywhere, if you see someone dropping object, you should pick it up and handed it over to them. Even if the object falling is near them, we should also politely bent down to pick up for them.
Principle No. 39: KEEP THE DOOR FOR OTHERS
When you open the door and there is someone at the back, you should keep the door for them. If the door is opened by pulling out, you should pull the door and stand aside to make way for the other person to go first. If the door is opened by pushing on, you should enter first and hold the door for the other person to come in.
Principle No. 40: SAY SORRY WHEN HAVING A COLLISION
If someone accidentally bump into you, though it is not your fault, you should say: “I’m sorry”.
Principle No. 41: KEEP SILENCE DURING CEREMONIES AND PUBLIC PLACES
When participating a ceremony at school, visiting somewhere, you should not speak loudly, cause noise and attract attention of other classes’ friends. Keep silence and order to not disturb anyone. This principle is also applied to all public places such as churches, temples, cinemas, theaters…
Principle No. 42: SAY GOOD WORDS ABOUT PLACES THAT YOU VISITED
When visiting somewhere, we should spend good comments about such place. For example, while visiting the house of an acquaintance, you can prise that their house has beautiful curtains. Sometimes, people often feel lack of confidence when having guest visiting their house, so you should make them feel comfortable with the praises. If visiting places such as theater or museum, we should also praise about architecture of the building or facilities displayed there.
Principle No. 43: ANSWERING THE PHONE WITH A POLITE AND CORRECT ATTITUDE
You should show polite attitude when answering the phone.
– Let’s say: “Hello grandparents, uncle, brother, sister, … this is family of …”; when the caller says people’s name need to see , you would reply: “Yes, now my grandmother is staying home. Sorry, I can know who’s calling? “; after receiving the answer, let’s say: “Please hold the line, I’ll go to invite my grandmother”; Gently put the phone down and call the people to meet.
– Ifthe people need to see is away, you will answer: “I’m so sorry, now my grandmother is not at home. Would you like to leave a message? “; If the caller does not want to leave the message, let you say: “Around ….. hour, my grandmother would return, Would you mind calling again?”; If the caller wants to leave the message, let you say: “Please let me know your name and phone number ?”; after recording in full, you say, “I’ll tell my grandmother as soon as she comes back home. Good bye sir “.
Principle No. 44: ALWAYS KEEP SILENCE AND PUT YOUR HANDS INTO BODY WHEN MOVING IN THE LINE
When queuing, the students will line up single file, each person is far from each other about half a meter. During queuing time, you must always look forward and keep quiet.
Principle No. 45: DO NOT BARGE
Do not barge when queuing. If there is someone barging in the class, you should not have any protest action, you should inform the teachers to handle. If you solve the problem by yourself and make noise, you’ll get in trouble like your friend. In addition, you should also solve all conflicts with your classmates under that way, which means you should inform the teachers before solving by yourself. If you want to go, but there is older person stopping, you must politely ask to let you go first.
Principle No. 46: NOT INTERRUPTING THE ADULTS’ CONVERSATION
Interrupting into the conversation of adults is a bad habit. If you want to say, wait until the adult finishes speaking. Thus, people will listen your opinion more attentively. If there is a thing required to interrup in the conversation of someone, you can say “Mom I have an opinion” or “may I ask a quick question.”
Principle No. 47: AT THE MOVIE THEATRE, NOT TALK DURING SHOWING FILM
When going to the movie, you should not cause any noise in the theater. Whether the film is fascinating, or you only want to say something to the person next to you, you can only be whispered. You are not allowed to feet up on the seat. If you want to eat something while watching movie, be careful not to cause any noise. If you bring candy to eat, you should remove the sweet’s shell before the film starts, because the noise when removing sweet’s shell may disturb others.
Principle No. 48: WHEN YOU ARE BULLIED, YOU SHOULD REPORT TO THE TEACHERS
When teased, the students should report to the teacher. The teachers take responsibility of caring and protectiing their students, do not let anyone in the school bullies or makes their students feel uncomfortable. The students are not allowed to handle issues by themselves but let teachers talk to the other student.
Principle No. 49: LET’S PROTECT WHAT YOU BELIEVE
Protecting what you consider to be correct. You never deny what from the depth of your heart oee what you know as right. But if need a debate, you should obey the Principle No. 5, the healthy debate. You should have friends and build friendship with people you feel can be trusted to exchange knowledge, thoughts and aspirations to help each other in studying, better cultivation, helping each other to reach good things, avoiding evils.
Principle No. 50: ALWAYS LIVE IN A HAPPY AND OPTIMISTIC LIFE
Always have optimistic look and love the life. When in trouble, you should never despair but to look to the future and towards the good. Accept that you can make mistake, but the important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. No one is no mistake, but it is important that you will not fall, not see it as failure when make mistake, stand up, draw lessons from the mistakes and keep moving up.
Principle No. 51: LIVE TO HAVE NO ANY REGRET AFTER THAT
How you live to never regret. When you want to do something, let’s do it! Never let any fears, disbelief or barriers prevent. Make your best effort and never stop until you reach your goal. You should fight by your heart for your dream and more importantly, you should do everything to make your dream come true.
Principle No. 52: CONTROL OF FEELINGS
Emotion decides your action so you should train the way to control feelings and emotion, control impatien behavior and know the way to delay gratification appropriately for affirming own opinion without warmongering, be willing to listen, to learn the views of others in an objective way. Have the ability to prevent before conflicts by the way finding mutually beneficial results if possible. Distinguish emotion and ration and applying skills for social problems and social ills. Training emotion is key in deciding to the development of spirit of each of us
Principle No. 53 BE HONEST IN ALL SITUATIONS
You should be always honest, though in any circumstances. When accidentally do something wrong, voluntarily confess to the teacher, and the teacher will relieve from the sanctions because of this honest attitude.
Principle No. 54: BE YOURSELF
Be the best man in your possibility. How bad the incident happen, do not let the external impacts affect your mind and action, let be yourself and a model admired by everyone. Keep in mind seven most important things in the life is: smile, family, adventures, delicious meals, the challenges, opportunities and desire of knowledge. With all these things, you will grow up, be proud of yourself and be happier.
Principle No. 55: LET BE GRATEFUL TO YOUR PARENTS
Filial piety is a merit foundation of each individual and society. For people cherish and love grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters who take precious good care of us since we were born; the society will have filial persons, persons who love the neighbor and commiserate the disabled, disadvantaged, persons with risk of life, people / friends with many difficulties in life and help them in specific circumstances. Thus, building a dutiful society is not the difficult thing. A dutiful society will not happen phenomenons that treated each other with violence, not incite trouble; but replace them is building communities of peace and contentment together.
A child learned and practiced with the skills along with emotional education will become the responsible, sympathetic and good harmonious one in terms of both individual and social, he/ she will not only improve behavior in the class, but also bring success in the workplace and society in the long run.
(Abstracted according to Ron Clark with amendment and supplement)
Japanese International School