I have been working a lot with my students about trust and how we must trust each other in the classroom. We do this through meetings when we get a chance or small conversations through the day. Today, as we sat in a circle, we once again discussed how we need to trust each other when it comes to learning. The students know this lesson and can recite it but I always wonder; do they understand it? Well, ask and you shall receive…
Students agree that they would never mock another child for getting a math answer wrong and neither would they roll their eyes if someone wasn’t able to perform at a certain level. When asked why they wouldn’t, they told me that they knew better than that and that they do not want to hurt each other. I then asked whether they would mock someone at recess – silence. Shy glances, shifty looks and finally a couple of students started to speak in vague terms about other students and how they misbehave on the playground.
After some discussion, students admitted that they too can lose their temper with each other and don’t act the same way at recess as they do in the classroom. I, of course, finally asked them why? The answer: “Mrs. Ripp, you are not out at recess.” When I wondered how that mattered, they answered “Well, we always behave around you because we are afraid of you…”
Apparently, I have some thinking to do.