Please tell me I'm not the only teacher going through this with her/his students. This. is. painful. It's not their fault....it's just that time of year.
It's like starting over. How to show patience. How to use manners. How to ask a friend to please stop doing something. How to take turns. How to not yell when you are frustrated. We've had to reflect on why we were wrong, fill out a few "think sheets", and we've had to say a lot of apologies.
It's just.....so hard to say I'm sorry.
My sister sent me the post "A Better Way to Say I'm Sorry" from cupacocoa. I love how she breaks it down and gives great examples. I am going to go over it with my students this week. There's also a great description over at Kid's Health about how to say I'm sorry.
Sometimes the right thing to do is just say "I was wrong. (or, what I did was wrong.) How can I fix it?".
After these last few weeks, I've been trying to figure out how I can approach my students with this concept and help them see the importance of acknowledging our mistakes and presenting a more heartfelt apology than "I'm sorrrryyyyyy." If there's one thing I've seen these past few weeks more than ever, it's that parents are going through the exact same thing. They want to help their child make good choices, but sometimes it's overwhelming given the circumstances. Sometimes we're so overwhelmed by the action that we forget it's a lesson to be learned.
I decided to revamp the "think sheets" I was sending home. Sometimes I don't even send it home, I just make sure we walk through it together and I keep it on file. Obviously, if it's a big enough behavior issue, it will get sent home for a signature.
I decided to tweak the original page I sent home for parents to sign, but also include a section on "I'm Sorries" (spellcheck has just informed me that "sorries" is not a word) and the art of a great apology to add to the back as information for students, but also a teaching tool for parents to use with their students. Here's what I came up with.
Hopefully we will survive the rest of this school year (and our field trip on Monday!) without any huge disasters. We will keep working on this, though. It will stick at some point, right?