Yesterday during cleanup one of my students threw a plastic piece of toast and hit one of her classmates in the face. There was instant crying from both the offender and the offended! I took both to the office with me while my colleague watched my class.
As we waited a minute for the nurse, I talked with my students about what had happened. Both were still crying, but the one who had thrown the toy was actually crying more than her victim. I know she was waiting for her punishment. However, I felt that watching her classmate’s agony for a few minutes, and feeling fear and guilt, was sufficient punishment. I think that is often what is lacking in our society. We don’t actually see the consequences of our actions.
When we returned to the room, I read a story to the class and everyone calmed down. After I started the rest of the class on a project I called my student to my desk and gave her a “model” of a folded card. I gave her instructions on how to write “I’m sorry”, which she did. Then she gave the card to her classmate and apologized verbally. They later talked and played together again. She came up to me later and apologized to me and I told her “Lesson learned- now you know what happens when you throw things in the room.” She nodded and said, “Yes.”
Lesson learned. To my way of thinking that is the ideal discipline situation. The consequences fit what happened. Everyone in my class actually learned the lesson and I doubt that any student will forget this very soon! They may do other things, but throwing toys won’t be a problem for a while.
Most of us learn life’s lessons the hard way. That’s just the way we are. But once learned, they make a difference in who we are.
Have a great day!