Monday, May 20, 2019


In “I was wrong” from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“We get stuck defending what we already decided. Because it feels easier to defend than it does to be wrong.”

Most young children are taught early to say I’m sorry when they have done wrong. I think sometimes we teach then to feel shame when something is wrong and that is why as adults, it is hard to admit that we are wrong.

When we make a bad decision, the results do not turn out as we expect or hope for and we see this as a failure.

When we make a mistake in our relationships, we feel this as an inadequacy in ourselves that can’t be fixed. We see this as a flaw in ourselves that we have to live with.

If we take a wrong action unintentionally, we feel shame. We want to hide it so others don’t see us as imperfect.

Luckily, I had an awesome principal who was a great role model for me. When we made a mistake with some information to the parents, he told me that we need to own up to it and write a letter of apology and correction to the parents. Other administrators would have either ignored it or tried to find a way to justify the mistake rather than fix it. By admitting we were wrong and fixing it, it took a lot of stress out of the whole situation. Yes, it was embarrassing that we were wrong but it was better than parent complaints or even possible lawsuit threats.

I have talked to some parents who told me that they would not have sued the school if only someone would have communicated with them and admitted they made a mistake. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way.

Teaching students that making a mistake is just an opportunity for growth and improvement. No one is perfect. I think it is important to teach students how to handle mistakes and also show it in my actions. When I make a mistake, I tell my students that I made a mistake and even talk aloud about the options I have in order to deal with it. As the students see my thought process and how I decide to handle it, they become more comfortable dealing with their own mistakes.

How do you help your students admit they were wrong? Please share.

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

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