Trust is fragile. Those are Margaret’s words for this week’s DigiLit Sunday.
Trust is a great responsibility and honor. Trust must be held carefully. Respected. It’s painful when it’s broken. That’s why it’s hard to give.
When I say I trust you, I’m handing you something valuable. I’m saying that I believe in you. You are worthy.
I give trust understanding if a person fails, breaks a trust, there is damage, to them and me. There is a risk.
Learning how to handle trust is essential. We give it to children understanding that desire and impulse might override the need to be responsible. We give it knowing they will make mistakes. They are learning.
I hand R a device. He has a choice to blog, to go to Google docs to write, to read on Newsela or Wonderopolis. I do this every morning.
I do it because I want him to have a choice in what he writes and reads. I do it because I want him to develop his sensibility as a writer and a reader. I want him to find what interests him. I want to give him freedom; something kids have precious little of. I want to teach him how to handle trust.
The rules are simple, and R knows them: safety and kindness. R can’t go anywhere or write anything he wants.
With that, being a child, R makes mistakes. He violates the rules.
R goes to a game on the iPad. He writes something he shouldn’t. He abuses the privilege and violates the trust. It happens.
Do we take this device away? Never let him touch it again. Put controls on the device?
I go back to my original thinking.
Trust means I believe in you. You are worthy. I risk giving it to you, but you are valuable, you deserve it.
R is a student, a child learning how to deal with a big essential idea. I am his teacher.
Don’t I owe R the chance to learn how to handle trust? Isn’t that my job?
Trust is not about the device and the rules. It’s not about me. It’s about being valuable, worthy.
Will students make mistakes? Absolutely. It should be expected and planned for. Possibly even hoped for. Then we’ll have the chance to teach them.
Trust is fragile and essential.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers Blog for the March Slice of Life Challenge. Thank you for creating and developing this vibrant writing community. Read more slices here.