I know fool me once and twice, but what about fool me seventeen million times?

I had to figure out today what losing trust actually looks like. No eating lunch in my room, no more being my student assistant, and no more joking around. That's to start; we'll see if it goes anywhere else. It happened suddenly; no decree from me, threatening as to what the consequences would be if he didn't do x or y or z. Just a kid thumbing his nose at....well, at me.

Apologies can be so effective. But sometimes an apology is not enough. For an apology to matter, it has to not only sound good, it has to lead to a change. When apologies have been given over and over and over and OVER and nothing changes, they stop being real. They're just words. And as much as I usually believe in the power of words, sometimes words are empty and their only power is to suck the truth out of the ones that could have mattered.


(Image credit to Bitpicture - even though I'm really sad, looking at this picture kinda makes me smile, and I didn't want you all to have to deal solely with my you get a funny hydrant!)


Rachel said...

I'm so sorry one of your kiddos let you down. I hope that s/he's as disappointed in the loss of trust as you are -- more so, even, since s/he should learn that valuable life lesson now, while there is time to be young and foolish.

While words have power, there is definitely a reason the phrase "actions speak louder than words" caught on. How can you know that someone is REALLY sorry unless s/he actually changes the offending behavior? Again, hopefully your kiddo will figure this out soon.

OKP said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry. Broken trust leaves both sides jagged. I'm thinking of you.

teachin' said...

Thanks, guys. It actually may have been effective - today, some of the behavior was different, and some commitments were made that it seems like will be followed through on. So.....some of the trust may be getting reearned, and it may have been what was needed!

TeachEnEspanol said...

Sorry I'm behind on reading, and sorry all I am doing today is quoting you to yourself, but this is a BIG deal for me: "For an apology to matter, it has to not only sound good, it has to lead to a change." Beautifully said. I may have to tattoo this on a couple of (big and small) peoples' arms.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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