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More On Saying “I’m Sorry” To Students


I’ve written before about my beliefs on the importance of saying “I’m sorry” to students when I mess-up (see The Importance Of Saying “I’m Sorry” To Students).

I recently learned about a study that reinforces my perspective — An apology is more than a word: Effects of apologies on children’s emotions. I don’t really think the actual study tells us anything more than most of us already know, but I was really struck by the wording of one of its conclusions:

Knowing that the other person agrees that it was the wrong thing to do reaffirms our view of the world as just and predictable, since the other’s sadness tells us that people in general don’t do things like this, because after all, it was the wrong thing to do.

You see, I think many of our students often experience adults doing “things like this” without hearing any kind of apology, which makes it even more important for teachers to model this kind of behavior…

Thanks to Brainspin for the tip.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I find I often mess up quite publicly and, at times, struggle apologizing publicly.

    It would be good if I could apologize as loudly as I made the mistake…

  2. Sometimes we just need to know we have been heard.

  3. Thank for this post….. Tough week for me and as I reflect my actions, it was reassuring to see that many teacher face these circumstances. Yuck – an awful week, but certainly much growth for me and hopefully my student

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