Dear Ms. Jordan,
I am sorry for misbehaving in class. I won’t do it again.
Tyler Vincent Turner
The letter of apology was simple enough and took less than five minutes to write, but I hoped the message I was sending to Tyler was one that would have a lasting effect. I want him to realize that he is responsible for his behavior, good or otherwise. When it’s the latter, I want him to own up to your misdeeds and offer up an apology to the offended person.
When I made the decision, I hoped it was the right thing to do and as it turns out Ms. Jordan was thrilled when she received the note. She told me that in her 25 years as a teacher no student had ever written her a letter of apology for misbehavior. She literally looked like she was going to cry.
I have tried to impress upon Tyler how important it is for him not to misbehave in school and he does a darned good job of staying on track. But as his father says, “he’s a little six-year-old boy”, and sometimes, well, boys will be boys. The past few days Tyler and his “best friend” have been misbehaving in class. Dorian is also very bright and I think both he and Tyler are getting bored and antsy with the work they are doing in class. It happens all the time when kids aren’t being challenged enough. But there’s not much that can be done since the county does not have a gifted kindergarten class. I have talked to him and tried to make him understand that when he is bored he should find something constructive to do with his time. He takes 1st and 2nd grade workbooks to school to work in when he finishes his class work early. He also goes to an accelerated reading program once a week with the school librarian but there’s still a few hours each school day when he gets bored. I have also warned him that he can’t allow another student to “make” him misbehave. I want him to take responsibility for his own actions.
That’s why I decided to make him write the letter of apology. I didn’t tell him what to write-the words were his own. And he did so without any reluctance (and in a perfectly neat handwriting, I might add) and gave it to her this morning with a verbal apology. If it happens again, he’ll have to write another letter. Teaching responsibility for your own actions should start as young as possible and a six-year-old is certainly old enough.