Teachers make hundreds of decisions every day.
Some require some deliberation; most are split second decisions that may, nevertheless, have a lasting impact on students. I’m learning to say, “I’m not sure about that. Let me think about it and I’ll let you know tomorrow.” Or, “I don’t have enough information to answer your question. Let me think about it and we can talk tomorrow.”
I make many good decisions every day. But I also make some bad ones. I regret those bad decisions and try to find ways to make it up to whomever I feel I’ve wronged.
I have two to rectify tomorrow.
One is with a student who shared a “new strategy” for solving a math problem. I kept insisting he was just “creating an equation”. I need to listen to him and then honor his strategy by giving it a name so he can share it with his classmates. I know that by doing that I will be helping him build agency and self-confidence. I will also be building a more trusting relationship.
The other one is to welcome back a student who was absent all of last week. Because I wasn’t too pleased that he was gone for a week without a word I simply didn’t say anything to him today. I always make a point of noticing students who have been absent for illness, vacations or any other reason. I let my reaction get in the way of continuing to build a relationship with this child. I need to remind myself that this is not about me.
This is restitution. If I expect my students to “make it up” to someone else when they’ve wronged them, then I must do the same.
Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for sponsoring the March Slice of Life Challenge.