Lesson 3: Self-Respect and Respect for Others

Graphic of different colored hands holding the word TEAM

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To develop self-respect and respect for others, the basis for assertive communication.

Materials needed: A means for students to record answers


“We have been learning about passive, assertive, and aggressive communication styles. Our goal is to use an assertive communication style in all contexts. The foundation for assertive communication is respect for yourself and respect for others.”

Discussion: Self-Respect

“You are valuable and offer a unique perspective on the world. Your opinion matters. Your rights matter. You matter. Having needs, interests, opinions, and desires is good for you. Other well-adjusted people want to hear what you have to say. You have no reason to feel guilty for your opinions, reasonable requests, setting boundaries, saying ‘no,’ or voicing concerns.

Respecting and valuing yourself is critical. If you respect yourself, you will speak up for yourself, and others will be inclined to respect you because you naturally exude confidence.”

Exercise: Individuality

If working with multiple students, encourage each one to record answers to the following questions. Have willing students report their answers to the group at the completion of each group of section of questions. Model enthusiasm, gratitude, and wonder over each student’s unique attributes.

My Story

  • My first positive childhood memory is…
  • Someone who played a significant role in forming me into the person I am today is…
  • How am I similar and different than he or she?

My Interests

  • How do I want to spend my time?
  • What talent, skill, or trait do I want to improve upon?
  • What would I choose to do if I were to volunteer within the community?

My Personality

  • How would I describe my temperament? (Talkative, reserved, love to laugh, love to make others laugh, cautious, risk-taker, intense, laid-back, etc.)
  • My temperament makes me naturally good at…(Wise decision-making, spontaneity, helping others feel welcome, making friends, remaining a loyal friend, etc.)
  • What do I feel passionately about? What, if anything, does that reveal about my personality or character?

Discussion: Respect for Others

“When standing up for yourself, how can you ensure you are not disrespecting others in the process? Embrace the following: Just as you have unique attributes that are worthy of respect, so do others. Your opinions, rights, concerns, and interests matter. Others’ opinions, rights, concerns, and interests matter. Assertive communication should be a natural byproduct of learning to care about and respect others authentically.”

Exercise: Demonstrating Respect for Others

Role-play the following scenarios twice: the first time to demonstrate disrespect, the second to demonstrate respect. Assist the students in identifying respectful and disrespectful communication elements such as:

  • Listening vs. interrupting
  • Honesty vs. dishonesty
  • “I” statements vs. attacking (“you” statements)
  • Body language communicating interest in others

Help the students empathize with and respect every character.

  • Gerald is a bank teller. A customer is upset with the low balance in her account. She wants Gerald to double-check the numbers because she feels there is an error.
  • Aiko is a new student from Japan. She approaches a small group of girls. She feels a little nervous but is hoping to make friends.
  • Akash asks an acquaintance on a date but is turned down.
  • Shea is currently working two 10-hour shifts per week at a law firm. Summer is approaching, and she intends to ask her boss if she can work full-time during the upcoming season.


Today we learned the very foundation of assertive communication: self-respect and respect for others.

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications:

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.