Don’t Lie to Me

truthKids lie.

I’m thinking that’s not the first time I’ve led with such a radical notion. Apparently the trend continues.

Students do, as well. Sometimes it’s a 21st century version of the dog ate my homework:  my printer broke/computer crashed/files were lost. But sometimes it’s eyeball-to-eyeball utter defiance, you’d-swear-they-were-telling-the-truth.

I’d like to believe that my students and I have developed such great relationships that they would never lie to me. My boss’s response would likely be: Ha.

She knows the job. Knows my students. Knows me.

My students have lied.

Often, those lies come in the form of omissions, not bald-faced lies. If I don’t phrase the question in the exact right manner, then the fuzzy answer they supply isn’t technically, actually a lie. Right?

Sometimes it is.

One of my students came in early with a lie. I never fully trusted her after it. Interestingly, she became more honest as the years passed. By the time she graduated, I could depend on her for a candidness that many of my other students would never provide.

But the one student who I honestly felt was incapable of lying, eventually did.

Wake up call. All bets were off.

I don’t demand complete honesty from all of my students. Truth is, there’s a whole lot of stuff I’d rather not know, so I specifically don’t ask some questions, side-step away from a few difficult conversations. Often, my students are way more comfortable with sharing than I am, but I leave the TMI phrase as a thought bubble in my head and let them talk about things I don’t need to know.

There’s a whole lot I don’t need to know. And I’m okay with that.

Until I need to know. And ask.

I called out a student not long ago. It was close enough to a lie.

I gave a choice. I got complete honesty or I got out.

These aren’t my actual kids. I can (sort of) abandon ship any time. This one had reached the high water mark long ago, and I was ready to bail. I could have, too.

But instead, I got honesty.

So I’m still in.

Maybe good for the student. Not so sure that it’s good for me.

 

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