Category Archives: respect in school

Bullying in Elementary School – 3 Key Ways To Stop It!

Yesterday we visited a Toronto Catholic School where the topic of bullying in elementary school is definitely taken seriously.

Georges Vanier Catholic School Principal, Ms. Silvana Reda, is obviously passionate about the topic of bullying as well as child safety. She has discovered many ways to help stop bullying in her elementary school as we were to learn during our visit.

Bullying in elementary schoolHappy Students: If students feel happy and respected, bullying in elementary school is diminished. That is certainly a belief that I personally share. After presenting hundreds of anti-bullying programs, I have come to the bullying in elementary school solutionconclusion that one way to reduce bullying in elementary school is to make sure students feel respected, appreciated and happy. There are a number of ways to do this, and I’ve talked about them some of my other blogs. However, students tell me that one of the things that make them feel happiest in school is simply having a sense of belonging. Children want to feel safe, they want to feel included, and they want to feel a sense of importance. Studentsbullying in elementary school - student work want to feel empowered in their environment. When you think about it, the same thing is probably true for most of us as adults. Don’t we want to feel safe included an important in our workplace? Don’t those things help us to feel valuable and empowered? I believe the answer is an emphatic yes.

Happy Teachers: I believe the following statements to be true in many cases:
Happy teachers are productive teachers.
Happy teachers generate happiness in their students.
Happy teachers get along well with other staff members.
After meeting thousands of teachers and visiting hundreds of schools, I really believe that a powerful way to reduce bullying in elementary school is to make sure the teachers enjoy coming to their jobs. One person who can help make this happen is the school principal. She or he can create a working environment which puts teachers at ease while at the same time resulting in a productive and creative atmosphere.

Activities: There are many activities which can take place during the school day to remind students about the virtues of respect, kindness and consideration. These activities can certainly help to reduce incidents of bullying around the school. Principal, Silvana Reda gave us a tour of George Vanier School Catholic School pointing out many activities her students had done which were related to respect and bullying prevention.
Caring Tree – In the front hall area is a caring tree which reminds everyone in the school about acts of caring which take place at Georges Vanier.
Bulletin Board Display – Each class creates an anti-bullying poster monthly which is displayed on the board for all to see. A monthly anti-bullying theme keeps it interesting.
Posters – Throughout the school are anti-bullying posters featuring students from Georges Vanier. The messages and designs of the posters were created by students for students and have been reproduced on professionally looking hard board and then permanently mounted on the walls.
Murals – The library features a colourful mural around the room on the wall near the ceiling. This mural is very inspiring and makes the room come alive.
Announcements – Play song clips, read catchy slogans, or have a ‘respect’ word of the day.
Contests – Get everybody involved in contests by offering fun prizes or even giving the winning class celebrity status with the school mascot for a week. If your school mascot is the cougar for instance, have a stuffed cougar which spends time in various classrooms or locations in the school as part of the award system. You could run a poster contest, a write a catchy song contest, a slogan for a month contest or even a math or science contest. Your imagination is your only limit.

So the three key ways to help stop bullying in elementary school are:
1/ Ensure students feel respected, appreciated and happy.
2/ Help teachers be happy in their roles
3/ Bullying prevention and respect activities

Have fun getting everyone involved.

Bruce Langford offers bullying prevention school assemblies and keynote talks:
http://www.standupnow.ca

How to use respect activities to change your school climate

How can we truly change the climate in our school? Can we actually re-form opinions that students and staff possess? Is there a way we can change a negative or mean-spirited school climate into one where cooperation, kindness and consideration abound? Can respect activities actually make a positive difference?

St. Sofia offers Respect Activities

Many Respect Activities at St. Sofia School

The short answer is yes; these kinds of changes can be made. In fact there are schools in our own jurisdictions that prove this fact. Attempting to define the actual system or step by step list of procedures to achieve these goals could be a challenge, but it is safe to say that some basic respect activities can go a long way toward making a difference. Here are some tips to get started.

First of all we must define what we are actually trying to achieve. Many people would agree that we are trying to achieve a climate of respect within the walls of the school. In my opinion respect must start from the top and sift its way down. If the administration, including all the teachers, all support staff and even custodial staff live respect in their day-to-day work at the school, then others will begin to take notice. By others I mean students and even any parents that may be in the school. Many teachers use model respect to their students daily and many teachers use specific respect activities in their classrooms in their day-to-day teaching  and have done it for years.

If your older students in the school show respect to each other, younger students will definitely begin to take notice. As younger kids began to learn from their older role models, they will begin to see respect as the norm. Situations and incidences which do not show respect will begin to be seen as highly unusual and unacceptable. All of these steps, of course, take time to initiate. In some schools it may take months, others may take years, while still others could possibly take decades in order to make these kinds of profound changes.

There are a number of tools which can help speed up this change so the transition can begin to take place sooner. The following activities will help to grow respect and to compound the effects:

1/ Form a student group which focuses completely on posters, announcement reminders, and other methods of awareness to help remind students and staff about the goal of achieving respect.

2/ Run special spirit days throughout the year which will help you get people on board in a fun way. Examples are: pink shirt stand up for respect day, be kind to someone day, pass on a smile day or respect activities workshop day.

3/ Special assemblies can also be a great way to help lift the spirits of the student body, and get everyone working in the same direction.

The above ideas for respect activities are only starters, but once you begin, I believe you will be moving toward a most worthwhile destination — achieving a climate of true respect in your school.

Bruce Langford presents anti-bullying and respect workshops internationally. www.StandUpForRespect.com 

 

Can You Name 5 Reasons For Being Honest?

When dealing with bullying, you will find that the issue of honesty often comes to the surface. It is important to be honest, and I emphasize this with students in presentations everywhere. But what is an actual, real-life reason for being honest?

Here are five specific reasons for honesty:

1/ ReputationHonesty is one of the most important ways to build a solid reputation. It is a key element in almost everyone’s mind as to whether a person is desirable. If you are choosing a friend, would your first choice be someone you knew was completely honest, or someone whose honesty was questionable? The answer is obvious. Protect your reputation by being honest. That reputation will be with you for a very long time.

2/  Peace Of Mind — there is and gnawing feeling inside you when you say something that is not true. That feeling can remain for a very long time, and it can be more uncomfortable than many people realize. When you tell an untruth you may think that you can simply move on, but the fact is that your subconscious mind remembers you have told something which is untrue. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘that is something that really eats away at me?’ That’s what dishonesty can do. Subconsciously it can do harm over time. If you take a vow of honesty, you will be rewarded in your life. You will have an inner peace which will give you great comfort.

 

3/ Relationships — honesty can solidify a friendship or family connection and build the feeling of confidence that you have with the other person or people in your relationships. Whether we are talking about relationships of family, marriage, business, education, or religion, honesty is a vital part of those relationships. Honesty can create an environment where a relationship of any kind will flourish.

 

4/ Health And Well-Being — honesty can free us from guilt, worry, and other forms of psychological stresses. Dishonesty can cause many psychological problems, therefore it only makes sense that honesty can result in excellent mental health. There is a feeling of peace and calm that results from saying the right things, being honest, and living a life of integrity. We simply feel better when we are honest.

 5/ Being Genuine — after presenting hundreds of shows to children, one commonality that comes to mind is the answer to the question I often ask; “how do you make good friends and keep them“. The answer that comes from students time after time is simply two words; “be yourself”. If children see ‘being yourself’ as such an important aspect of relationships and friendships then it is obviously very important to be genuine. How do you be a genuine person without being honest? Of course the answer is… it would be impossible. To be genuine, you absolutely must be honest. So remember, be yourself, be genuine and most of all be honest.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and school speaker & presenter on all topics related to bullying.  www.standupnow.ca

 

Earth Day reminds us to consider what matters around us

Be willing to speak up in support of maintaining nature’s systems that make our earth so magnificent.  Treat the earth with consideration.
Do your part every day to make the earth a better place.

EARTH DAY is a day to consider the gift our earth gives us
including clean air to breathe and fresh water to enjoy.

We must preserve these gifts by all working together to maintain the natural resources the earth provides.

We must also work together to keep our relationships on track and
to maintain feelings of appreciation and thoughtfulness. Speak up when
something needs to be said. See a little of yourself in others and you will be
more understanding and sensitive to their needs. Doing these things will help to
keep your relationships filled with respect. Bit by bit the concept of bullying will become even more abhorrent than it already is. Beat bullying by building respect and living it everyday just as we celebrate Earth Day by showing respect to our planet.

Bruce Langford, bullying prevention advocate www.brucelangford.ca

Children come first at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario

Bullying prevention and child safety is of top importance at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario. Principal, Kathleen Vanderville makes sure children are the first priority at her school and that was obvious during our visit yesterday. Quinte Mohawk is brimming with beautiful murals, paintings, artwork and displays to proudly celebrate their culture.
Just look at this awesome painted door with the following script:

Children are…

Amazing – acknowledge them.
Believable – trust them.
Childlike – allow them.
Divine – honour them.
Energetic – nourish them.
Fallible – embrace them.
Gifts – treasure them.
Here Now – be with them.
Innocent – delight with them.
Joyful – appreciate them.
Kindhearted – learn from them.
Lovable – cherish them.
Magical – fly with them.
Noble – esteem them.
Open minded – respect them.
Precious – value them.
Questioners – encourage them.
Resourceful – support them.
Spontaneous – enjoy them.
Talented – believe in them.
Unique – affirm them.
Vulnerable – protect them
Whole – recognize them.
Xtraspecial – celebrate them.
Yearning – notice them.
Zany – laugh with them.

We thank Quinte Mohawk
School for the wonderful
hospitality and warm welcome!

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Bruce Langford presented ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ student assemblies at Quinte Mohawk school yesterday. See his website at: http://www.standupagainstbullying.com

Were Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Cher, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein bullied?

Steve JobsA little known secret about Steve Jobs is that he had a learning disability in the form of dyslexia. Sadly, special needs students are often bullied. In fact people who are different are frequently bullied and many times special needs children are perceived as being different. Children with special needs may be dyslexic as in the case of Steve Jobs or they may be autistic. They could also have ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), have a visual or auditory impairment, or be gifted.

There are many examples of famous people who had special needs, yet were able to compensate for their challenges. Some examples of famous people with dyslexia are: Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Cher, John Lennon, Sir Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg. Other famous people with learning disabilities are: Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

In many classrooms there are children who are very protective of their special needs classmates. However, sometimes special needs students suffer relentless bullying.

We can all help special needs students achieve success by making sure they are not bullied, and by creating a classroom culture of protection. After all, special needs children often have amazing talents and abilities as the list above indicates. Remember, Stand Up Against Bullying in every school classroom, home and community!

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who teaches peace strategies.  www.standupagainstbullying.com

 

Dr. Kenneth Shore’s Top 6 Bullying Prevention Tips

Stand Up Against BullyingStand Up – Make it Stop; Let’s End It. These are the words of a child describing the challenges of bullying. Why can’t we make bullying stop? Why can’t we just decide to end bulling? The answer is we can. It just takes a concerted effort with everyone moving toward the same goal to end bullying forever. Of course it is not easy. Definitely there are many who say bullying is part of being human and will never end.
The point is though, that no child should have to go to school in fear.  Every person should feel safe in their community and not fear being bullied. Children should not be nervous to go on-line for fear of being bullied.
These thoughts took me to Dr. Kenneth Shore’s book, “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention”.
Dr. Shore is a psychologist and family counselor and has written this valuable book about bullying prevention. I’ve included his top six bullying prevention tips here.
1. Take it seriously. Shore says bullying often goes unrecognized by educators, or is recognized but isn’t taken seriously. “It’s easy for us as adults to dismiss kids’ concerns, but so often, issues or problems we perceive as small loom large for them.” The common thread in stories of bullied kids who attempt or successfully commit suicide is that schools dismissed complaints about bullying or didn’t treat them with the seriousness they deserved, says Shore.
2. Prevent it. Your local board of education probably has an anti-bullying policy, but words on a piece of paper won’t change things. Instead, a committee of students, parents, and school-site staff should work together to plan and implement a prevention program. Shore says studies show a 50-percent reduction in bullying in schools that adopt comprehensive bullying prevention programs.
3. Don’t treat bullying as exceptional. Shore says one of the mistakes schools make is they treat bullying prevention as a one-time activity. “You don’t solve bullying with one big assembly,” he says. Instead, hold several ongoing activities throughout the year to address the problem. “Make sure the issue is very much alive in kids’ minds.”
4. Meet in each classroom. It’s crucial that teachers make time for special classroom meetings held a minimum of four times a year conveying that bullying is unacceptable, and the school takes it seriously. “Seat kids in a circle and engage them in discussions where they can talk about times they’ve been bullied and discuss what that felt like,” he says. During the meeting, teachers should also talk about things they’ll do if they see bullying happening.
5. Zero tolerance. Parents of kids suspected of bullying need to find out what their children are doing and address it seriously. “Make sure to let him know it’s unacceptable and that you’re going to be monitoring behavior and if it continues, there’s going to be serious consequences. Let your child know you mean business and then try to understand why it is that he’s engaging in these behaviors.”
6. Don’t blame the victim. If your child comes to you and says he’s being bullied, “Don’t dismiss the concerns with a ‘sorry that happened, hope things go better tomorrow,’ response, or suggest it’s your child’s fault,” says Shore. Listen to your child, recognize that he’s a victim, and follow-up with the school in-person. “You want to be a pit-bull taking whatever steps you need to ensure the bullying stops.”

Bruce Langford is a Canadian bullying prevention advocate offering interactive, musical school assemblies on the topic.
http://standupagainstbullying.com