Apologizing is a good topic for discussion early in the school year.
It can be a good segue into discussions about empathy, point of view, forgiveness, or learning from mistakes depending on where your students take it.
Discussion points can include:
Some things to consider when establishing guidelines for apologies and repairing relationship are that it if a person is genuinely wanting to repair a mistake than it is not the time for excuses and defensiveness. Do not rationalize with the frequent use of the word “but”. Here are some examples of things not to say; “Sorryyyy…” or “I’m sorry you feel that way”, “Stop being so sensitive”, “I was just kidding”,“You did __________ so…” or over-the-top apologies. An apology should not be a monologue, it should be a conversation.
Acknowledge what happened and take responsibility for it.
“I did a thing that harmed you.”
Empathize and ask.
“That must have felt _________. Is that true?”
(“What can I do to make it up to you?” or “How can I repair this with you?”)