Saturday, February 25, 2012


This year of teaching has become a lesson in reconciliation. Our school uses a system of "reminders" when students misbehave. I have had a couple incidents this year where students have earned significant reminders and they've been unhappy to receive them. In two cases, after I gave the reminders and turned the students over to the principal, I have had to figure out how to interact with that student - and sometimes with a parent - when I see the student again. 

And I see every student every day.

  • Do I avoid the student while it feels awkward, letting other staff handle him/her until the weirdness passes?
  • Do I take the initiative and approach the student and talk directly about the situation?
  • How do I gauge my own heart regarding the student? 
  • Can I separate the behavior in one moment - one bad decision - from the student?
  • How are we reconciled to an even place in our relationship going forward? 
  • How do I communicate love and acceptance in a genuine way?

So far, when these situations come up, I have chosen to not avoid the student, but not get in his/her face either. I wait for an interaction to come up organically and I endeavor to treat the student the same way I would have before. I'm sure I don't always get it right. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying too hard to pretend that nothing happened - too cheery or too friendly. Thankfully, seeing every student every day gives me a lot of opportunities to have positive interactions to offset the more difficult ones.

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