I am so proud (and a little teary) about a new bullying prevention video, Be an Upstander, Not a Bystander, that came out today! This public service announcement features my town’s police and fire departments, current and former students, and my awesome colleagues Franklin, a fifth grade teacher, and Amy, my counseling partner (and amazing first-year school counselor). Be an Upstander, Not a Bystander would be great to show students anywhere, but could also be an inspiration for your school and town to do something similar. Continue reading
It’s finally out – the crowd-sourced music video of Stand! The singer, Charleigh Gere is a middle school student in our district, who decided to take a stand herself and do something to help other kids stop bullying. The video is comprised of clips of students from all over the world singing, dancing, acting, writing, and signing, united to end bullying. My counseling partner Amy worked with some of her 3rd and 5th grade groups to create clips, which they submitted for the video (some of them even made the cut!). Amy and I use the song (available in iTunes) in our bullying prevention units and the kids LOVE it! And now here’s the video, which will be a great addition to any lesson about bullying! Continue reading
I’m always tweaking and working to improve my lessons and units – I want to make sure that they’re meaningful and engaging, and that kids are learning and applying what they’ve learned in real-life settings. Also, I am addicted to just love figuring out how to incorporate new ideas and techniques! (Which may have something to do with why my to-do list is completely ridiculous.) Most recently, I set my sights on my fourth grade bullying prevention unit. Even though this unit has been impactful and well-received, I wanted to: (1) experiment with how integrating technology and art might expand kids’ understanding about bullying; (2) see how this could help me assess student learning; and (3) increase my knowledge about how best to address the Common Core standards within the counseling curriculum. It was a LOT of work, but the outcome has been amazing! Continue reading
This year I decided to rework our fourth grade bullying prevention unit so that it builds upon the visually rich and thought-provoking book Goodbye Bully Machine by Debbie Fox. We’re in the midst of it now, and it’s going really well. I’ll share all the lessons and resources once we’ve completed the unit, but am so excited that I wanted to share this piece of it right away! Today our fourth graders put on a play based on the book, and you can see it in this video. (It runs a little more than 6 minutes.) Continue reading
Here’s a moving video from the Austin, Texas Police Department and the It Gets Better project. In it, uniformed officers, victims’ advocates, and other police department employees share their experiences, encouragement, and support for young LGBT people. Central to the video is a powerful and direct statement from Art Acevedo, the Chief of Police in Austin, about acceptance for all, regardless of differences: Continue reading
Here’s a wonderfully clear and informative infographic about cyberbullying. The infographic is based on data gathered through McAfee’s 2012 Teen Internet Behavior Study. I’m definitely going to be incorporating it into my cyberbullying lessons, and thought you might like to do so too! Continue reading
My heart swells when kids take action to make the world a better place for others. Today it’s practically bursting because of willUstand, a bullying prevention initiative by a local Vermonter, 12-year-old, Charleigh Gere, who is using music to share the message that “bystanders can make a difference and that when someone stands for another, they gift hope.” I am so excited about willUstand for several reasons (freebie alert!): Continue reading
At the library the other day, I picked up a copy of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins. The book gives an inside view of what it’s like to be a member of the “cafeteria fringe” — marginalized kids who are ignored and/or tormented by other students. It follows six students and (spoiler alert) a marginalized teacher at different high schools — self-identified band geek, loner, new girl, gamer, loner, nerd, and “popular” girl trying to break out of her mean girl group and image. Robbins’ premise, which she calls “quirk theory,” is that the very characteristics that can lead Continue reading
In my previous post, I outlined how I used a comprehensive counseling approach to address a first grade bullying situation through classroom teaching, small groups, and individual counseling. (Read about it here.) In this and upcoming posts, I’ll share the lessons from the new first grade bullying unit I developed. (Related ASCA standards are listed at the end of this post.) The objective for the bullying unit was:
When students experience or witness bullying they will be able to:
- differentiate between mean and bullying behaviors.
- recognize that bullying should be reported to school staff.
- use a script to report bullying to school staff.
- tell another school staff member if the first adult does not believe or understand the report. Continue reading
This is not a tale of the high seas. It’s about one stormy year in kindergarten, when a combination of individual students’ behaviors developed into a “perfect storm” of bullying. A couple of kids didn’t know how make and keep friends without using intimidation. Some others’ impulsivity hindered their ability to think before they acted. Some did not know how to be assertive, and reacted in a way (tears, giving in to intimidation) that reinforced the bullying. A few did not know how to make good friendship choices, and consistently put themselves back into situations in which someone else might be mean to them. Some had annoying behaviors that unwittingly provoked Continue reading