Does your educational organization believe in redemption?

I saw this poster recently in a middle school. And I confess it struck me the wrong way…

Redemption

Do we really want to send the message to young adolescents that character is nonrecoverable, lost with a single mistake? Or do we want to send messages about learning from mistakes – even really bad ones – and personal growth? I think the latter…

Is your school a place that believes in student redemption? Do your youth have some leeway to make academic, behavioral, and ethical mistakes and then grow and recover from them? If so, how much? Where do you draw the line between ‘once labeled, always labeled’ and an opportunity for redemption? How do you decide that they made some mistakes but that they still are worth the effort?

How about for employees? Do your educators have some leeway to make professional, behavioral, and ethical mistakes and then grow and recover from them? If so, how much? Where do you draw the line between a firing / non-hiring offense and an opportunity for redemption? How do you decide that they made some mistakes but that they still have worthwhile value to contribute?

How forgiving are our educational systems, for either students or staff? Your thoughts?

One Response to “Does your educational organization believe in redemption?”

  1. Educators allowed to make mistakes (unless they are part of an Old Boys’ Network)? Maybe, although rarely. But almost no teacher/employee who did make a mistake and was forgiven – at the time – ever, ever outlives it. Either there is an institutional memory or some parent who remembers something or an account in a file somewhere to be unearthed that will bring down an employee faster than you can say “due process” (see Vergara v. California).

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