(Originally posted 8/11/10)
DONT’ MAKE PROMISES THAT YOU CANNOT KEEP.
Carla asked me a fantastic question….What keeps trust from growing in a classroom? Wow. There are probably many things that can be “trust-stoppers” as Carla calls them….but this is the first thing that came to mind…..
One of the most powerful things that I have learned as a teacher and as a mother is that kids will take you at your word. If you can’t live up to that word, you are not only a disappointment, you are a liar. This is a heavy burden to bear. So I have learned to think carefully before saying, “I promise…” or even “I will….”.We are only human and there are times when we meant to keep a promise, we did everything we could to keep a promise and yet…were unable to see it to fruition. Truth be told, the world is not under our control. So we must be careful about the promises that we make.
Here are some promises that I have learned not to make:
I’ll have those papers corrected by ________________.
I’ll have your grades done by _____________________.
Since I rarely, if ever, get things done by the time I plan to….or if I do have them done I get distracted and forget to give them back….I have stopped making these statements. And those are easy ones…..
Other little promises slip out way too easily when I am not paying attention like….
We’ll watch a movie on Friday……
I’ll bring in cupcakes for the class…..
I’ll come watch your soccer game tomorrow….
A letter of recommendation by 8th period? Sure!
The list goes on and on…
Sometimes my promises are just “good ideas” without brakes. Other times they are my ego without brakes. Then there are the times that the kids catch me at a weak moment….
It happens to all of us.
But it destroys our credibility. Quickly.
There is nothing wrong with promises. I believe in the power of a promise….a promise kept. So before we make any promises…even what we may think are “little” ones in order to get on a kid’s good side or motivate a class to behave…we need to be very careful.
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