Yesterday, I witnessed something beautiful.
Coming back from my yard duty, a colleague and friend informed me of a lunchtime friendship drama between two of my students. Disagreements seem more common as we approach the end of the year and the past few days have been peppered with an unkind word or tone from one student to the next. What I would usually do is talk with those involved and ask them what they could have done better and what they want to happen next.
Yesterday, I felt it was not just the two students who needed an opportunity to sort things out. I had no grand plan, I just thought I’d give every one in class an opportunity to ask for forgiveness from anyone they had hurt during the day or even in the past weeks.
My brief was simple: ‘If you have hurt someone, with your words or your actions, maybe by being mean in your tone or by always going against them during play or even ignoring them, write a note to say sorry. Think about it, be honest. If you’ve thought long and hard and know that you don’t need to apologise to anyone, write a note of encouragement to someone instead.‘ They were to give me their notes (for me to filter) and I’d hand them out.
The beautiful bit? Students took this time seriously and I was blown away by their honesty, their willingness to own up to their actions, name them and then ask for forgiveness. The notes kept coming, the two students who fought during lunchtime declared how much their friendship meant and both said sorry and wanted to move forward. Students who I’d never pick to be unfair and mean during play wrote to friends to say sorry for poor decisions. Another child recognised how he needs to make rules clearer so arguments could be avoided.
In silence, knowing, forgiving smiles were exchanged all across the room.
Peace was palpable.
I thank my Lord because I know humility comes from Him. He is the author of forgiveness and I believe this little classroom miracle was His handiwork.