SOL16, Day 27: DigiLit Sunday, Trust is Essential

Trust is fragile. Those are Margaret’s words for this week’s DigiLit Sunday.

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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.

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9 thoughts on “SOL16, Day 27: DigiLit Sunday, Trust is Essential

  1. I love how you give it to him again even after he betrays your trust. Second chances are important too. They are also about building trust.

  2. I love everything about this post. I found these lines especially striking: “We give it knowing they will make mistakes. They are learning.” That’s it exactly. Sometimes it seems children have expectations placed on them that are way too high. Learning doesn’t come from high expectations. It comes from trust and the chance to try things out. Love this.

  3. Trust is developed over time. Students have to learn that they can trust the teacher to be fair. Teachers have to trust that students will choose the right path when given options. You have demonstrated that beautifully with your words today. Trust is a big deal.

  4. As a teacher in a new school with 1-to-1 iPads, I believe as you do. ES is the time to trust and where they can make mistakes in order to learn. I am sharing your wise words with my administrators who often have to talk to parents who aren’t trusting their kids with these devises. Together though, we will all learn the importance of trust.

  5. I love this: “Trust is not about the device and the rules. It’s not about me. It’s about being valuable, worthy.” We value the people we trust. Showing students they are worthy is giving them choice and trust. And when they mess up, they learn. Thanks for thinking about this topic with me today.

  6. Yes!! I love this…Don’t I owe R the chance to learn how to handle trust? Isn’t that my job? We have such an important job when it comes to teaching our students how to make good decisions. Thanks so much for this post.

  7. I love the universality and specificity of this post. It made me think about trust in relationships and the importance of remembering the intrinsic worth of all human beings.

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