Week 22

Trust

"To have confidence or faith."

Expanded Definition

Trust is the belief or confidence in the reliability, honesty, and integrity of someone or something. The action of trusting means to believe that others can be relied on or confided in. A person who is trustworthy is self-honest and stays true to their words.

Etymology

The word "trust" originates from the Old Norse word traust, which means "confidence" or "reliance." Over time, through Old English trēowe, it evolved into the Middle English "trust," signifying faith or confidence in someone.

Classroom Strategies

Being trustworthy is a quality that goes far beyond the classroom — it builds a positive character in students that is vital for their educational journey and future success. It is not only fundamental in respectful relationships, but it also develops integrity that drives students to be responsible individuals. Here are classroom strategies that you, as educators, can implement in your teaching. Prepare your students for the real-world and help them grow to be trustworthy.

  1. Give trust jars to students: Every student gets a jar and some marbles. Each time they demonstrate a trustworthy act, they add a marble. If trust is broken, marbles are taken out. Over time, students can visualize the building and erosion of trust.

  2. Discuss the importance of trust: Discuss real-world examples of trust and how being trustworthy benefits the self and others. This could be from current events, historical examples, or personal stories shared by students.

  3. Create a trust chain: Start a paper chain where each link represents an act of trust. As the chain grows, it visually demonstrates the collective trust built in the classroom.

  4. Play a simple blindfolded obstacle course: Set up a simple obstacle course that is fun and safe for the students. Ask one student to play blindfolded and another to give verbal directions to navigate. It emphasizes communication and reliance on another's guidance.

  5. Understand the concept of trust through a debate: Pose questions related to trust for the class to debate. For example: "Is it harder to trust or to be trusted?" or "Is trust earned or given?"

  6. Play two truths and a lie: Students share two true statements and one false statement about themselves, and classmates guess the false one. This game encourages sharing and can start discussions about honesty and deception.

  7. Create a trust thermometer: Promote trustworthiness in the classroom by creating a visual "trust thermometer" on a wall. When students display reliable behavior or when students witness acts of trustworthiness in the classroom, the level rises. Conversely, untrustworthy acts might lower it. Use this as a way to discuss and reflect on trust dynamics.

  8. Discuss the importance of being trustworthy online: With the prevalence of misinformation, discuss the importance of being factual in their engagements online. More importantly, explain to them the potential dangers of interacting with strangers and suspicious websites. Teach them not to share or provide any private and sensitive information about themselves and others in their digital communications and interactions.

  9. Teach students to consider others' feedback: Encourage students to provide constructive feedback on one another's work. This process can help build trust as students learn to give and accept feedback in a respectful manner.

  10. Explore the consequences of a broken trust: Discuss and role-play the potential consequences of broken trust. Understanding repercussions can highlight the significance of trustworthiness.

Building trust requires creating an environment where students feel safe to admit their mistakes, express their ideas, and seek help when needed. Let that be your classroom! In utilizing the classroom strategies outlined in this article, you can foster a generation of responsible, honest, and dependable individuals ready to thrive in their educational journey and beyond.

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