How do you encourage honesty in the classroom? We must first understand that honesty is something that can be taught. This virtue helps children develop strong moral and emotional strength, as well as character and self-esteem. So…where do we begin?
According to Bette Freedson, MSW, LICSW, LCSW, CGP — National Association of Social Workers, it all begins with teaching by example. Encourage honesty by the “Do as I Do” philosophy. Keep in mind the maturity level of your student when communicating with them. Keep it at their level. Teaching by example means you must lead by example. Make sure you are using honest and ethical practices in your classroom. By incorporating this into your environment, you will develop the self-respect that goes hand in hand with honest behavior.
The next step is to adopt a “No Shaming” Policy. Approval is key in teaching honesty. By not ‘shaming’ a child for a dishonest action, you avoid creating behaviors you are trying to eliminate. Children tend to move towards dishonest behaviors if they fear being shamed. A non-shaming approach to your disapproval of their dishonest action will help you teach honesty. Remember to keep the consequence on the same level as the transgression. Short is best.
How do you begin to incorporate these steps in your classroom? There are some very helpful examples of how to work this magic into your classroom at www.education.com . There are example on this site that encompass every age group from toddlers to school agers. Have fun using these great teaching tools to develop character and increase self-esteem in your students.