The Platinum Rule for Teaching and Learning

Most people have heard of the “Golden Rule: “Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you.”

I have always thought that is an excellent way to look at life and how we connect with others. 

But then I heard about the “Platinum Rule” (popularized by Dr. Tony Alessandra), which is the following: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

That makes a lot more sense to me. 

I thought about this in practice. I had someone looking after my house, and as I left, they said, “I will treat your house like it is my own!” Now, this person is great, but I also know they can be a little messier than I am at my age.

So then I replied, “I would feel more comfortable if you treated my house like it is mine!”



What I like about the idea of the Platinum Rule is that it focuses on having empathy for others and trying their best to understand their experiences, as well as hopes and aspirations.

Larry Ferlazzo shared this quote from Kim Scott in a 2017 blog post:



He then wrote the following:



“Whether it’s knowing how students will react to classroom management strategies, the different styles of error correction, or if they’re having a bad day and want to do their work alone in the library, the idea of a platinum rule is a good point to keep in mind.”

Larry Ferlazzo



In “The Innovator’s Mindset,” I asked the following question; Would you want to be a learner in your own classroom? 

Many educators have answered, “YES! I would love to learn in the way I am teaching.”

But it is not only about what you would enjoy as a student, but more importantly, understanding the perspective of the learners in front of you and what would work best for them.  This is why I have always encouraged asking the following questions (shared from my July 2017 blog post):



My answers would look different than your answers, and vice-versa. That means something different for every classroom.

The Platinum Rule is good for life and can be highly beneficial to teaching and learning. It all starts with empathy and understanding their experience, not only ours.

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