THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN BY MY DAUGHTER, HANNAH ORR. THANK YOU FOR THE INSIGHT, HANNAH!
In my classroom, I use a behavior management app called ClassDojo. The app is displayed in the classroom on our projector screen, and each student has a cute little monster avatar that they can customize by logging into the site at home. Throughout the day, I’m able to use ClassDojo to give students points for following expectations, such as being kind to others, acting responsibly, and working hard. It’s a great motivator, and whenever the “ding” of a recently given point fills the room, the students all whip their heads towards the board to see if they earned any new points. Conversations about how many points they’ve earned individually or even as a whole class are common, with students often commenting, “We have more points today than yesterday!” Or “I think this is the most points I’ve ever had!”
However, there is also a feature where I can take away points for misbehavior. While I usually give out way more points than I take away, lost points still happen. My students are 2nd graders, after all; they’re not going to get it right all of the time.
But every single day, I reset all the points. Every single day, we start over. Any mistakes from the past are wiped away, and everyone gets a fresh start. While actions still have consequences in the moment, when my students come into the classroom the next day, all misgivings are placed in the past. I welcome them with open arms, believing the best in each of them, ready to encourage them through another school day.
I know our Heavenly Father sees us the same way. Just as I don’t expect my students to be perfect, God know we’re going to mess up. Yet He doesn’t scold us when we fail. He doesn’t leave us alone and defeated on the battleground. He picks us up, brushes the dirt from our face and says, “it’s okay. You can do it next time. Let Me help you. Let Me heal you.” He doesn’t roll His eyes as we stand up and start back down the right path, but cheers us on as He walks with us every step of the way.
Our failures, our yesterdays, our “lost points”; they do not define us. They do not determine our tomorrows. We can still wake up today, ready to forgive, ready to follow, ready to fight. And just as my students don’t walk through their day alone, neither do we. Our Teacher, our Father, never leaves our side.