October 8, 2006

Humility for Students

Edgar did an incredible thing one day in May: he handed in his dialogue journal. That surprised me in and of itself because, though it was an easy way to earn points, Edgar was not in the habit of completing this weekly task.

But it was what he wrote that really astounded me. He said, in part:

Dear Miss,
I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused you this semester. I know I deserved it when you sent me out of class. I know I could do much better in my work. I was just lazy. I hope you can forgive me…

I’d known Edgar since he was in seventh grade. He was now a junior. I really liked him and saw much potential—but he had judged himself accurately. He had behaved poorly—disruptively—and had slacked off though he could have done very well with just a little effort. His choices truly saddened me, for his sake.

But here was something to admire, a line in the sand he’d drawn for himself. It took humility and courage to do what he had done, first to admit his issues to himself and then to me.

How about you? What situation—with a teacher, parent, classmate, sibling—do you need to humble yourself to? And, after you acknowledge it, what’s your next step?


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