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Teaching Guide

Teaching PBIS: Respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to Teach.


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There are some important "Re-" words out there. Off the top of our head, there's Restore, Responsibility, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Plus we all know the big three: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. But maybe most importantly, there's Respect. This teaching guide really resonates with instructors who resolve to relay required information to their responsive students about respect.

In this guide you will find

  • assignments to improve students' ability to debate an issue with respect for one another.
  • discussion questions about showing respect for people, places, and things.
  • scripted lesson plans about self-acceptance and self-R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (Yup, prepare yourself for Aretha references.)

Our teaching guide will help your students find out what respect means to you. Sock it to 'em.

DAY 1: R-E-S-P-E-C-T


Today's class will start at the core, literally. Students will discuss and explore the importance of self-respect and how to get there. In simple words, the motto of today is "treat yourself like your best friend."

Key Skills and Learning Objectives

  • Discuss what self-respect is and how it's different from self-esteem.
  • Discuss three scenarios in which one does not act with self-respect.
  • Imagine the destructive consequences of not having self-respect.


  • Yesterday: Exist.
  • Today: Do three things to boost your self-esteem.


Materials Needed: Computer with a way to project your screen on the board, paper and writing utensils for students

Estimated Time to Complete: 50 minutes

Today's activity is all about self-respect. To review, what is self-respect? What is not self-respect? [Take about five to ten minutes to get answers from students.] Self-respect is pretty much self-love and self-acceptance. Almost every human being in the world has some level of self-esteem issues. It's something about being your own worst enemy or your own worst critic.

Yeah, we hate ourselves for some reason.

In today's activity, we're going to watch a short video that features one of the most awesome women of our time, Amy Poehler. This "Ask Amy" video is from her YouTube channel, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls. This topic pertains to everyone, though.

[Separate the students into groups of three or four. While they're moving around, you can set up your equipment.]

When watching this video, write down what speaks to you the most. Here are some brainstorming questions, to keep it relevant:

What are some of Amy's main points?
What pieces of advice does she give?
Why are some of her reasons to not be negative?

[Then, show this YouTube video to your class. This should all take five to ten minutes.]

Before we share our notes, how does negativity relate to self-respect? How can respecting yourself be interpreted negatively? When does looking out for yourself have negative consequences? [Discuss this with students. Then, let them share their notes. This should take about fifteen minutes.]

On your handout, you'll find three scenarios that deal with self-respect. We're going to discuss them in small groups, but first, we'll look at the first one together.

In your groups, choose a reader to read the next two scenarios out loud. As a group, discuss how that person is acting with regard to self-respect. Ask yourself, how can they respect themselves? What would you do in the situation? [Give the class 20 minutes to discuss the scenarios in small groups.]

[Have the groups share their responses with the class while you write them on the board.]
Now, let's look at what we have on the board. Can you find any patterns? Do any of these thoughts seem familiar? What is the very best response for each of the scenes? [Discuss with the students and add your own suggestions if you think you need to.]


[Read the students scenarios out loud and brainstorm how you could respect yourself in those situations. Show them this video from WellCast to wrap things up (it relates to the homework).]


Now that we've watched WellCast's video on ways to boost your self-esteem, why not try them? Here they are on paper with extra bits:

  1. Do something you've been putting off. Annihilate the warren of dust bunnies under your bed? Call Grandma? Clean your ears? Um…do your homework? There, we said it.
  2. Thank someone, anyone, for something.
  3. Treat yourself like your best friend. Take yourself out for ice cream.
  4. Compliment yourself. Have a bath. I guess we don't exactly bathe our friends, but that's okay. You can bathe yourself.

Get ready to share your experience (besides the bathing one) with the class tomorrow.


  1. What do you think of when you hear the term self-respect? Do you think of someone who's humble and compliments other people, even lets them eat the last cookie in the cafeteria? Or do you think of someone who's full of him or herself, and thinks they're the greatest thing since double-stuffed Oreos? Why?
  2. There are actually two running definitions of humility. One is being modest and not seeing yourself as better than others. The other is having a low opinion of yourself. When you hear the word "humble," do you feel good or bad about it? How can being humble still mean having self-respect?
  3. Lots of people think that self-respect must come before you can respect others. Do you agree with this? Why or why not? When can respecting yourself get in the way of respecting others, and vice versa?
  4. Can developing your interests and passions be a way to respect yourself? What interests do you have that are unexplored?
  5. How much does body image affect our self-respect? How would you tell your best friend to think about their body?
  6. Does spirituality relate to self-respect? What spiritual practices encourage the way someone sees himself or herself?
  7. Being responsible is something we hear a lot. How does being responsible not just help other people but helps you respect yourself?
  8. How can forgiving people be a form of self-respect? How about forgiving yourself?
  9. Does the company you keep affect how you see yourself? Do you find it easier to respect yourself more with certain friends than with others?
  10. The homework suggests that doing something you've been meaning to do for a long time is a way to boost your self-esteem. Why is that? What things have you been putting off lately?