I believe educators have opportunities every day to teach students about redemption. How will we respond when a student fails a test, hurts another student, doesn't get a part in the play, or learns they will be moving at the end of the year?
I work with students almost every week who have behavior issues at school. I have changed my view on student suspensions in serious disciplinary situations. I used to think suspensions were needed to separate wrongdoers from the herd, to punish, to send a message that serious mistakes get a serious response. I now look for opportunities to make suspensions more meaningful. I prefer in-school suspensions, and we make sure students spend time with our counselor, think reflectively, journal, and develop strategies for the future. We talk a lot about restoring relationships that have been hurt. Sometimes students will tell me after a disciplinary situation that their relationships with others are better than before. It's a beautiful thing when broken relationships get healed, especially as a result of a redeemed crisis.
In moments of crisis, I believe we are very teachable. Our lives can be changed in these moments - we might see only the bad and remain in despair, or we can see opportunity for growth. Kids don't often have the life experience needed to see how a difficult situation can be redeemed. Let's grab opportunities to help them redeem the tough scrapes they get into