For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12, NASB

He lay across the long table, causing it to tip. His 6’3” frame was dangling off both sides. He kept changing his balance, making the table dip from side to side like a teeter-totter while items on the table flew onto the floor. Later, when I was able to speak to him calmly to tell him why he received a detention he was flabbergasted that lying on a table and causing things to fall was cause for discipline.

He was equally as shocked the following week when he was suspended for assaulting an administrator. His eyes were as round as his lips as he tried to make sense of why anyone would discipline him for what he felt was exercising his own rights.

Have you experienced student behavior like this? Or maybe a student can’t believe he deserves a low grade on an inferior paper. Or a high school athlete can’t accept the administration’s refusal to change a detention that interferes with a practice.

This is reality. And many times, reality exposes that an existing standard has not been met. If we lower the standards for our students, we aren’t doing them any favors. When reality eventually hits them in the form of a real job with real standards and expectations, our students won’t understand why they are being reprimanded for being late for the sixth time.

As educators, we can prayerfully ask God for wisdom when setting the standards for ourselves and our students. Are they realistic? Do they need to be adjusted?

Dear Lord, please help me lead my students toward excellence in life. Most important, may I show them You in my behavior. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Copyright Cheryl Skid.

Cheryl is a member and retired educator from Missouri.

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Teachers of Vision is a digital and printed magazine that is for teachers and written by teachers to encourage and equip the educational community.

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