Sunday, February 24, 2013


This is exactly why I allow nothing less than respect in my class.  One of the first words my students learned from me (and probably the one they know best even now) was respeto, and they know it's not just for me.  I require them to listen to each other speak, to not laugh if someone answers incorrectly, and to respect each others' - and their own - artwork even if it's silly. One of the first lessons a second grade class learned from me is that words are important.  A boy teased another boy, who started crying, and the first boy said, "They're just words.  Words don't matter."  We stopped the entire lesson until everyone in that class knew that words do matter, and when you say something that can hurt someone's feelings, you make it better.  Because no one deserves to grow up feeling like they're not safe at school.  Everyone deserves to grow up knowing they have friends in their classroom.  Thankfully, I teach at a school where people are pretty nice.  I've been really impressed with my students.  Almost every classroom feels like a tight group of friends, as well it should.  I don't see them on the playground, so things could be different than they seem, but I'm thankful that they have learned to support each other, at least in the classroom.  Mistakes are made there all the time - it's a good place to learn respect.


"He was standing erect on the rock again, with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him.  It was saying, 'To die will be an awfully big adventure.'"  - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Holland Hettinger said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. That's really neat. :)

Mom said...

I hope you teach them that "the hurt is already there." You can't take away someone's hurt feelings, even if you say I'm sorry. Some words carry more power than others and "You're stupid!" or any other mean comment against someone, stings more than "I'm sorry" can fix. I saw an object lesson once that taught this concept. Take a clean, new piece of notebook paper and talk about how nice and clean it looks. That represents someone's heart or their feelings. Now crumple it up into a ball. Then ask the child to return it to it's original flat state. They will do everything they can to make it totally flat again, but they will see it can't be done. All of the comments said to a person stick with them forever. Nothing you can do will take away the effects ugly comments have on a person. They are there forever. POWERFUL! I love you, honey. You are really making a difference in this classroom at a time.

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