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Stolen Learning

Posted on 2013.12.02 at 23:11
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I had two students today steal candy while putting their instruments away.  I laid into the class pretty hard and the two decided to put the candy back (in front of other students).  The principal then came and took the two boys to speak to them about it.  I saw one of the boys afterwards and this is what I told him:

I wanted to tell you that while you did do something wrong and it wasn't okay, that I am proud of you for trying to make it right.  It took courage to put it back in front of other students.  Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone admits it and tries to make it right...and I want you to remember that you should be proud of yourself for that.

I think the lesson was more than learned, but I think it is important to not just administer a consequence and emphasize the error, but to acknowledge what was done right.  In this way, the child hopefully learns not just how to behave but also integrity of character.  I'm not sure how I feel about it...a few years ago I would have been all consequence and I was quite hard on them...I just don't think negativity is the best way to build the relationships that the kids need to learn lessons like this.  Nor is it the example I want to set for them to determine how they would handle a situation with someone else.

It was a moment I could have let go, or I could take a more compassionate route and try to reach the child on another level.  I chose to water the positive seeds rather than negative ones and I hope it was the right choice...

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