Teaching Tip: Lying
Lying by students is a problem most teachers encounter, especially elementary school teachers. A student who lies occasionally is not a major problem. A student who lies often is a major problem.
Students may lie for a number of reasons. They may want to avoid the consequences of owning up to something, they may want to cover up a mistake or failure, or they may simply want to gain attention.
Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to minimize lying by your students.
- Be sure to model honest behavior yourself. Acknowledge a mistake of your own or apologize for something you do or say that is inappropriate.
- Recognize the student when he or she is truthful. If a student does something wrong but admits it, focus more on the student's being truthful than on punishing the student in some way.
- Don't ignore a lie. If a student lies and is not challenged about it, that student is likely to tell an even bigger lie the next time.
- React calmly to a lie. If you overreact, the student will likely feel resentful, and may resolve to do a better job of lying in the future.