Do you apologize to your students?

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I was a bad teacher today. I lost my cool, which rarely happens in a student-centered classroom, especially near the end of the school year.

A student got a little loud, and before I knew it, I had moved his seat and engaged in a war of words that left the rest of the class in shock.

Photo credit: Chicago Theater Beat

This awful scene started when I put the student on the spot for something extremely insignificant. This was not a proud moment for me, as it could have easily been avoided, had I dealt with things as I’ve done all year — with patience and collaboration.

Upon further consideration, I tried to pardon the act by telling myself that it’s the end of the year; it’s hot, and all teachers are starting to lose it. This didn’t help.

I did, however, feel better when the student came to me after school and apologized. I was happy that he admitted to his own wrongdoing.

I was even happier that I got a chance to apologize to him for my own role. It felt good to do it.

So, have you ever apologized to a student? What happened?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
  1. Becky

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