“I’m sorry.” Is this statement part of your classroom management language?
As I write these thoughts out in print, I see why “I’m sorry” so dangerous.
I’m sorry without context, appears to be apologetic. It appears to recognize our actual fault in a situation.
It seems to mean, “ I recognize my role in this unfortunate situation.”
But often, we are using “I’m sorry” . . to express frustration with our class.
When I have heard it used, it has had a condescending tone, almost bordering on sarcasm. Like, I'm sorry, it's your fault.
As in, “I’m sorry, we can’t move on because we are not following directions.”
Or, I’m sorry, I thought you were ready for this next step, but since you are noisy, I guess we just can not go on.
I’m sorry, we are using up your recess time because you did not listen.
To be fair, this week, I have felt sorry. I have felt sorry that I moved forward with a lesson too quickly. I gave my students a task without preparing them for my behavioral expectations. I FORGOT that I am still teaching them how to survive in my classroom. I have kept them too long at the carpet. I have talked too long. I have given them tools without teaching them how to respect them.
When I have felt sorry. . . .I have stopped the train. I backed it up and picked the class up back in the place where things were going well. I have tried my best not to blame THEM, for my mistake.
To blame our class for not being able to handle our expectations. . .at this time of the year may not be serving to build the classroom climate we want to live in for the rest of the year.