Three Things to Know about Making Amends – Teacher’s Corner

Teacher’s Corner
Three  things to know about making amends:
  1. When a student does something wrong he needs to be able to make it right again – to “get his star back on.”
  2.  Doing something to make amends is so much better than just saying you are sorry. Making amends can repair a student’s view of himself at the same time it is making the victim feel better. Making amends is important even when the incident was an accident.
  3.  Examples of ways students can make amends:
    *  If the student hurts another student, he can get ice or a bandage for an injury or offer to participate with the student in something that might make him feel better such as playing a game, eating lunch together, etc.
    *  If the student breaks something, she can help fix it, pay to have it fixed, or offer the owner something nice to substitute for it.
Writing Prompts and Discussion Topics 
The following are based on the blog, “Your Child Is a Star!”
  1. Describe a situation in which  a person your age is hurt by a peer. How could the perpetrator make up for what he or she did? Make sure your suggestion is something more than saying, “Sorry.” What do you think the end result of your suggestion will be for the person who was harmed? For the person who did the harm?
  2. Making amends is only necessary when a person does harm to another person on purpose; it is not necessary when something happens accidentally. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
  • Use the blog for discussion topics
  • Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
2.  For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
  • Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
    • Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
    • Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
    • What would be your advice on this topic?
    • What was left out of this article?
    • If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
  • Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
  • Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
  • The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.

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