Week 28

Forgiveness

"To give up anger and resentment."

Expanded Definition

Forgiveness is the process of letting go of negative feelings toward someone who has caused harm. This conscious decision requires the mental and emotional strength to move past the reminders of the offense. Forgiveness is often embraced after some time of healing to make way for personal peace and growth.

Etymology

The word "forgiveness" originates from the Old English forgifan, meaning "to give, to grant." Over time, the prefix for- added emphasis, leading to the notion of "completely giving" or "pardoning." The word then evolved into the modern understanding of releasing resentment or granting mercy.

Classroom Strategies

Forgiveness is the key to ending conflicts and allowing healing. As one releases their feelings of anger and resentment, they relieve themselves of the burden of negativity. As a result, they fill their hearts with positive feelings about themselves. Teach your students how powerful forgiveness can be in improving their self-concept and emotional well-being. Apply the following strategies in your class and help your students own their peace for a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Role-play stories of forgiveness: Have students enact scenarios where forgiveness is exercised and discuss the outcomes. Follow this activity with a discussion around the story they have watched.

  2. Place the students in the shoes of their offender: Ask students to imagine themselves as the person who offended them. Guide them to think about what circumstances led these people to act the way they did. Then, ask them to ponder if it is worth it to hold on to their anger.

  3. Write a letter of forgiveness: Encourage students to write letters of forgiveness to people who have wronged them. Tell them that the letters will not be sent. Instead, the letters are to help them express themselves and release their heavy emotions.

  4. Allot time for meditation: Allot a portion of class time to practice meditation. This activity will help students decompress, think better, and feel more positive. When they take time to stop and relax, they can express themselves better and prevent initiating conflicts.

  5. Engage students in art expression: Use drawing, painting, or creative writing to help students express their unsaid feelings. Without bottling up their thoughts and emotions, they set themselves free from anger and initiate their healing process.

  6. Practice asking others for advice: Teach students to discuss with friends and family when they are in conflict with others. Sometimes, they might feel wronged, but seeking others' perspectives helps them recognize the reasonableness of the other person's actions. Seeking advice can lead students to understand the importance of forgiveness.

  7. Encourage students to communicate their feelings: Promote honest feelings in your classroom. Teach students to communicate their honest feelings to their peers, particularly when they feel wronged, so others can seek forgiveness and avoid making mistakes.

  8. Try the empty chair technique: As an activity, try the empty chair technique in your class. Ask students to imagine themselves talking to their offenders about why they feel angry, what they want to happen, and what they want their offenders to do instead. This activity not only helps them release their anger but also teaches them to communicate and resolve conflicts.

  9. Imagine a positive, desirable future: Help students learn to forgive by asking them to shift their focus on what's next rather than what happened. You can ask them to describe a future time or event, like a holiday, that they are excited about.

  10. Practice conflict resolution: Conflicts will inevitably arise in classrooms, where students will have misunderstandings and quarrels. If ignored, students will develop hatred toward their classmates, leading to further issues. To prevent this and promote forgiveness, teach students how to resolve conflicts through proper discussions and self-honesty.

The world cannot rid of conflicts, misunderstandings, and disagreements, but it can rid fights and hatred by promoting forgiveness. Equip students with the power to create a peaceful world by implementing these classroom strategies in your teaching. Hand in hand with your students, create a future where kindness and empathy thrive!

Resources

Worksheet
Making a Mistake Worksheet

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