tears! ahhh

I had an interesting conversation today with a friend about lying. Today in class a boy cried because I caught him in a lie. We read a book and I told the class to write a summary about the book in their own words. I stressed that it did not mean copying from the book. Towards the end of the class, one boy had a really long summary. Feeling a bit suspicious, I asked him “Did you copy this from the book?” and of course he said no. I read the summary that he had written and it was the EXACT same as the book. I told him that he should think of his own words instead of copying the book and cheating and he still didn’t admit to copying the book. This went on for a while and eventually I gave him a new sheet of paper to start over. He cried for a while and it made me a bit sad.

Right after that class I had lunch, so I texted a friend to tell him what happened. I felt bad about making the kid cry, but he DID lie… My friend told me that “to lie is a contradiction in itself and it springs out of fear. Explain to him that he shouldn’t be afraid of you..it’s what they learn from their parents, it’s not your or their fault. Teach them that they can tell the truth. That’s the biggest lesson you can teach a kid.”

It made me think a lot. When you’re young, you think that lying will get you out of trouble, but it usually makes things worse. It’s a sad feeling that kids are so scared to get into trouble that they will lie to try to make things better. I try to be as honest as possible, but I still harbor that same fear at times about hurting someone’s feelings or seeming like a mean person if I tell the truth. Human nature is weird, as well as society. I still try to be as honest as possible, but I fear that people will view me differently if I tell the truth, even if it’s not so pleasant.

Tell me your thoughts!

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3 thoughts on “tears! ahhh

  1. Ashlee D. says:

    I’ve been lied to as well by my students and it’s so frustrating! The other day I saw two girls passing notes (really obviously) and I confronted them about it and they denied it to my face. So I walked right up to them and demanded to see it and the one girl must have done something with it bc when she opened her hands she had nothing. I was so frustrated bc those two always cause problems in the class, and I really didn’t know how to handle it! It was one of those moments when you realize how different it is to be in front of the class instead of the student. Next time I’ll have to take a page from your book!

  2. Adrian says:

    If you are honest about things like your judgments, thoughts, and feelings, people will often respect this even though they might not show it.

  3. Ceci says:

    Lying definitely gets you into worse situations. I think your friend is right that the kid was just scared.
    Re: the passing notes comment above
    I think as a teacher it’s easier just to say “Sam and Sue, stop passing notes.” Rather than asking “Are you doing it?” Caught in the act of doing something they’re not supposed to, the lie just seems like the only possible answer, even if it’s obviously false. Unless you actually want to confiscate the note, it’s probably easier just to call them out on it, rather than asking them to admit to it. If you’re wrong, they won’t hate you anymore than they would for you being right…

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