Grace For a Young Man

March #SOL16 Day 25

sol[1]We had a long meeting after school today.  When it ended, a few of us sat around and chatted, blowing off steam from a long day and a long week.

Cathy, the principal in our group, was telling us about a situation involving a student and her car.  The student was playing around and did a careless, thoughtless, silly thing. We laughed and we didn’t laugh.  We acknowledged how important our cars are to us.  We also acknowledged that they’re just cars, that there are much more important things in our lives than our cars.

As our colleague continued her story she described how she talked with the student who was responsible for this act.  She let him know that she was aware of what happened.  A few things about this conversation struck me.  First, she told him, “If this is the worst thing you do as a kid then I’m going to be OK with that.” She said he sat in her office staring at her in shock, wondering what his “punishment” would be.  That was the second thing that struck me.

That was it.

The only consequence was this particular conversation they were having and imparting the knowledge to this little guy that there is a person attached the piece of property that he messed with.

That was the outcome.

A beautiful act of grace was shown to a student who is growing and learning about the type of person he wants to become.  This outcome was exactly what he needed at that exact moment.

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4 thoughts on “Grace For a Young Man

  1. I love it when adults have an opportunity to be kind and forgiving. There’s nothing better than surprising a child who expects to be “punished” with kindness and understanding instead. Love this and love the description of sitting around chatting after a long week. Isn’t that what community is all about?

  2. How refreshing to hear this. So many times someone would want to throw the book at the child and the lesson from that is to be angry, scared, and hope to not get caught the next time. What this principal did was plant a seed instead. That child knows that the principal thinks he is a good person who just made a mistake…and to learn from that mistake. I loved this. The child knew he had done something wrong….now he knows he can do better.
    Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  3. I, too, was moved by this conversation. Such an unexpected, graceful reaction. Unexpected because there was damage which justified consequences. However, it was a gift to all of us to hear how she handled it. It reminded us that we are working with impressionable children who need a break and who will always remember those types of moments. Perhaps he will even pay it forward someday.
    Role models is what we are and we need to always remember that. The principal’s reaction will always remain with the people involved in the conversation, and especially with the student. The car…it will be sold and forgotten about, but the act of kindness and lesson taught – always remembered!!!! Way to go Cathy! You rock!!!

  4. What I like is her response, “If this is the worse thing you do as a kid, I’m okay with that.” It’s like she’s setting him up to rise above this and that this act should be the worse thing. I can imagine that this young man feels gratitude and appreciates the forgiveness. What I also like is how the teacher adults responding to this post aren’t wondering why the child didn’t have consequences. So many times I have heard teachers upset about the lack of consequences instead of considering what is truly best for the child–maybe 2 days of ISS is not what is best. What a great model this principal is for students and teachers in this act.

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