Category Archives: Bullying
Spring Break is here, although it looks more like Christmas Break outside of my window. No matter – a break is a break and I’m blessed to be healthy and sharing it with my boys! So far today, we’ve made rainbow layered cupcakes, had an inside picnic, played in our tent (a blanket draped over the kitchen table) and then our usuals – hide and seek, pirates and Legos! #1 is curled up with a snack and #2 is curled up for a rest and so I thought a quick blog post would be in order!
I wanted to share a video link with you, that our Phys Ed. teacher showed to me. I watched it with my grade 7 class and they really responded to it. It’s all about attitude, choices, thinking positively and believing that you can do what you are meant to do – that you are worth it. We all have challenges in our lives that we will face. What matters is how we deal with and respond to those challenges, and how we can show compassion and empathy for those around us who may be going through their own challenges.
The speaker in this video, Nick Vujicic, was born with no arms and no legs. He battled depression, suffered from bullying and attempted suicide as a child by trying to drown himself in his bathtub. His story is nothing short of incredible. He’s comical, mesmerizing to watch, easy to listen to and he doesn’t sugar-coat things. There is some mature content in that he does refer to relationships, sex and drugs and so this video would be appropriate for grade 7 and up. The video that we watched is linked below and it’s an hour long. However, if you have a look on YouTube, you’ll see MANY videos of all lengths featuring Nick that you could choose from. There may also be another more appropriate video for slightly younger viewers.
Our attitude affects everything that we do. How do you try to encourage a positive attitude in your students?
It’s been so busy here lately, I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever! Hubby’s out of province during the week for another 5 weeks and so I’m pretending to be Supermom, doing it all! That being said, I’d like to give a shout out to all of the single parents out there. I don’t know how you do it. I’m counting the hours until Hubby’s home on Friday evening and he just left at 5am this morning! You’re pretty fantastic people and I can only imagine the stress that you’re under – trying to do it all, all of the time, with NO back-up. You rock!
Okay, topic shift.
A teacher at my school found this pretty awesome video on YouTube and I’d like to share it here. I haven’t shown it to the kids yet. I was in tears though, as I watched it this morning. The subject matter? Bullying, name calling, abuse…it’ got it all and it’s powerful.
If you have 7 1/2 minutes, and you teach middle school and up – have a look. It may be something that you want to share and discuss with your students. It has over 5 800 000 views and is incredibly poignant and thought-provoking.
Let me know what you think – especially if you choose to share it with your students.
Thanks again for sharing, Ms. Curran:)
Bullying is an issue at most schools, and unfortunately it is no different at mine. This year though, we’re trying something new. On Thursday, we launched our “Stand Up” to bullying campaign. Our project was inspired by a project that our VP saw about a principal in the states. We kind of thought…if they can do it…maybe we can too. The idea is to create a culture of kindness in your school, so that acts of bullying are less likely to occur because of the expectations of students, and the emphasis on the positive.
To begin with, all of the classes entered a logo contest to design an anti-bullying logo that would be screen-printed on t-shirts that students would wear on “Kindness Fridays”. One of my grade 7 students won the contest with his “Stand Up” logo, and we went with a nice bright orange color for the shirts. Sponsers’ dollars helped to fund these shirts!
Students had to do an act of kindness in order to earn the right to receive their shirts. Classes did everything from creating artwork for the local hospital residents, to collecting food for the food bank, helping out with the morning snack program and so much more! Students also had the chance to create an anti-bullying pledge for our school and the pledge that was chosen was placed on a banner for all of us to sign.
We had a huge assembly to launch this whole project, in which the students shared the acts of kindness that they did, received their shirts (class by class), we even had a local celebrity to play for us, which was a surprise for the kids! Here’s a little video clip…
(It may or may not be me step-dancing in the last 5 seconds of the video with one of my students;)
We have a “Hallway of Heroes” to highlight students who have been particularly kind, and we’ll be wearing these shirts (as a reminder of what we’ve all pledged) every Friday.
I think that being covered in the local newspaper and on the Island news (my kids did the opening and our story’s on about 11 min. 40 seconds in to the program) really helped to show students the importance and legitimacy of what we’re doing.
I’m really proud of what we were able to initiate with this program and even if it helps one student to Stand Up for himself or another student, it will have been time well spent.
Just for your information…some popular “anti-bullying” titles…
I want you to consider for a moment, all of the wonderful and amazing accomplishments of the human race – on Planet Earth. We put a man on the moon…and beyond. Technology is advancing on a daily basis, beyond the imaginations of the generations that came before. Diseases that used to wipe out entire communities can now be treated with a simple inoculation. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. So, I ask myself: Why can’t we stop kids from being cruel to one another?
It happens in everyone’s classroom and school. If you think that it doesn’t happen in your room, I would ask you to consider all of the time that you are out of your students’ sight and earshot: between classes, in the washroom, out on the playground. It happens. Bullying. If it doesn’t happen at your school – PLEASE tell the rest of us your secret.
We know that bullying is not just pushing and shoving anymore. It’s hurtful text messages and trashing people online. Of course, the physical side is part of the picture – it always will be. But there are many facets to bullying now, with that advanced technology that I mentioned earlier. One other thing – boys and girls bully differently – so keep that in mind when you’re taking an inventory of your class’s interactions.
Bullying has been around since the beginning of time, I believe. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting a WHOLE lot better any time soon. Yes, there are amazing initiatives and programs coming out and those are wonderful. We need more of that! But, at the end of the day, I keep thinking about who, from my classroom – in my school is going home upset about something that happened at school. Something that I didn’t see or wasn’t around for. Something, that I don’t even know about. How many? I’d love to say none, and I hope that that’s true. I’m a realist, though, and if you know me at all – you know that I love math. The odds are against me. Chances are, that someone (or many someones) were bullied in some form. Being that I’m in Canada, I found some recent stats for bullying in this country. I looked at the US as well though, and the picture is much the same. Being that I teach grade 7, my eyes are drawn to the “middle grades”.
These stats are provided by an organization called PREVnet, trying to end bullying.
The numbers may be startling to you, or no surprise at all. Whatever the case, bullying is a problem. If you are a teacher, it’s your problem. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you need to “find the cure” so to speak. However, be aware that it does happen to over half of kids – boys and girls. Junior high, in particular, is a rough time on the best of days – without bullying being an issue as well. Keep your eyes and ears open and try not to ignore. We can all just do what we can do. I came across the video below, as I was searching online. It’s only a few minutes long. Please take the time to watch it. I do not know this family, but my heart goes out to them. No one thinks that this will happen to them, in their town and their lives, until it does.
This is Kristina’s story.
PLEASE check with your administrator first, if you’re thinking about showing this video to students.
Please, keep Kristina’s story in mind when you’re dealing with bullying in your classroom and in your school. It happens. It happens when we don’t or can’t see it. It happens to “good kids” and “straight A” students. It happens to too many of our kids.
So, what can we do about it? How can we prevent or even abolish bullying? What is the cure? I don’t have the answers – lots of questions, but no answers. Being a teacher, of course I turn for answers in books. I have come across three that look promising – I haven’t ordered them yet, though. Are any of you familiar with these titles? Do you have any book title recommendations for the rest of us? Please share!