My Monday seemed like a usual day. All the school seemed in a buzz to find some sense of routine and so-called normal after almost a week of snow days at home. It felt good to get back in some kind of usual mode. My fourth grade class was bustling to get to lunch on time and we had to pause waiting for the younger class to find their usual place in the lineup. The last kindergarten class full of hungry students were rushing to keep up. The teacher was urging them to go at their fastest walking speed. I gently called out to encourage, “Walking please.” I don’t think I said it mean or loud or any different than usual. However, there was one young girl having trouble keeping up with the pace of the line and walking at the same time.
It was one of those moments, you yearn to tell someone about immediately, It made the ordinary day extraordinary in a way. It only took four small words from a very short person, “will you forgive me?” I was taken back at first and quickly responded, “you bet I will.” Those words drifted in and out of mind since that moment. “Hmmm, ” I mulled over the response as I made my way to the teacher’s lounge with the balancing act of food, mail and drink. “Forgiveness, it is important for the relationships at school, too. I just had never heard it from a student.”
These four simple words from this little voice changed my outlook on the day. Only if adults could remember these words throughout the day. We all make mistakes as we are learning to be better. I thought about how important forgiveness is in order to move on from a situation. Well, I thought to myself, take my extraordinary moment and use it today when forgiveness is needed. Sure enough, it worked its magic today. It was the afternoon writing workshop time and we heard loud giggling from the girl’s bathroom. Well, we are right across the hall. I made my announcement at the door leading into the bathroom, “Girls, stop by room 29 when you finish, please.” The three girls realized what I needed as soon as they entered our classroom. They told me they were sorry and then I pointed out to the twenty-three students looking toward the front of the room. The girls automatically chimed, “Sorry.” I walked the girls to the door and whispered, “we forgive you, try to be quieter in the bathroom.”
I can’t wait to see how quiet the girls are tomorrow in the bathroom. I really can’t wait to meet the young kindergarten girl again at lunch. Her four words shifted my thinking. It made me think differently about forgiveness and how important our role as teachers can be each extraordinary day at school. Try forgiveness this week not just with our students and colleagues, but with ourselves.