Honesty is hard. Especially when you are caught in the middle of a lie.
Today, I caught two of my students writing notes on their hands just before I was about to give out a test. I couldn't believe it. Not those two students! I quietly asked the students to wash their hands and then handed out the test. I could tell that the two kids were shocked I hadn't made a scene and didn't deny them the opportunity to take their assessment. Instead, I let them think.
When everyone in the class was finished with the test, I pulled over my two students one at a time to talk. I didn't accuse. I didn't yell. I didn't embarrass. All I did was ask why? For these two students, that would be punishment enough.
The conversation that ensued with both students was one of mutual respect and deep regret from their end. It was hard. In the end, they each walked away a little more grown up. They had made a mistake that every teenager does. I was just pleased to see that they were each reflective enough to know that it should not be one that is repeated!
I'm so thankful with how things turned out today. Having conversations like this are some of the toughest parts of my job. It requires me to be honest and hold my students accountable as they grow and develop into young adults. It's a tremendous responsibility.
And today, I think I held up my end of the bargain.