November 2, 2011

Students trust the ROLE teacher

We are always telling students that honesty is the best policy. Sometimes it's hard for teachers to be completely honest with students, though.

When I felt like I betrayed my students, because I created a project that detracted from a quarter's-worth of reading, I was forced to tell them that I had made a mistake.

"We will not continue our reading project, as I had planned," I announced at the end of the quarter.

"But, why?" they called, in an almost choral response.

"It's a mistake," I shared, as honestly as I knew how. "I want more reading, more sharing, more reflection and more book talks. The project just gets in the way of what's most important."

A few minutes later, they were back on their computers, updating their reading plans, browsing the shelves for new books and reading, as if nothing had changed.

I pondered their reaction momentarily, and it was clear to me that they trusted my judgement, because I was honest.

Are you this honest with your students?