Thursday Thanks & Apologies

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks

James Allen

Too often we don’t follow up with simple acknowledgements of student (or adult) behavior in a meaningful way. Our default is to acknowledge behavior in a punitive way, so we essentially steal what could be a teachable moment and turn it into a punishment.

Yesterday I was out of the classroom for a combination of a doctor’s appointment (that has been rescheduled three times) and a family death. Due to lack of substitutes, my colleagues had to cover for me, and I absolutely hate that situation. A few of them texted that my students were wonderful and working and respectful, and another had the opposite situation–a disappointment, to be sure, because we explicitly discuss how we talk to and treat new people in our classroom.

So today, in addition to summarizing a chapter or two of our class texts, we will also be writing either a thank-you note or a letter of apology to our guest teachers. An entire class of 7th grade someones will not be happy, but to let it go by unnoticed only allows perpetuation.

3 thoughts on “Thursday Thanks & Apologies

  1. Even now as I work with smaller children, I talk about how important it is to be on your best behavior for the sub because you want the sub to leave a wonderful note for your teacher. It will make your teacher feel so good, and don’t we all want our teacher to feel good! When I was teaching, I worked hard to train my students how to behave for the sub. I always got glowing reports with requests to be my sub again. I passed those compliments along to my students who in turn glowed.

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    1. This is so sweet! We also have discussions on how we treat strangers (aka subs) to our classroom, but we happened to forget in 4th period on Wednesday. But we did acknowledge our misbehaviors honestly, so the lesson was learned (the teacher hopes :))

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