By Elisabeth Morrison
One of the ways that we can keep kids from hurting other kids in school is to have something in our classrooms and schools that help kids feel like they belong. In my school, we have programs that help us all belong. These are called Motivational Monday and Talk Box in the classroom and a Buddy Bench on our playground.
We do Motivational Monday every week and it is where my teacher plays a motivational video to help us get a positive attitude and help us be excited about the learning we are going to do. Here are some of my favorite Motivational Monday videos from this year:
Click HERE for a link to my teacher's website, where you can find more motivational videos like we got to watch!
One of the other things that we do in our class is called Talk Box. We do this activity every day about 2:30 in the afternoon. Our teacher passes out sticky notes to everybody in the class, and then we write about something that is bothering us or anything that is weighing on your mind that day. You can also write about something that you are excited about or really like, too. An example of something that I wrote one time was:
"I saw somebody bullying another kid and I did not like that. I wrote about that in my Talk Box note. The teacher reads that notes every day so she can see what we are thinking about and what is bothering us. After I wrote that note, the kids didn't get bullied anymore by the other kid. I felt happy about that!"
On the playground is where the Buddy Bench is. Here is how the Buddy Bench works: When we are outside on the playground, if we see someone sitting on the Buddy Bench, someone goes and sits with them to be their "buddy," asks them if they want to come play, or just sits and talks with them. It is a way that we try to make sure that nobody feels alone or like nobody will be their friend. The whole school gets to use the Buddy Bench.
Since we try to help everyone belong, we don't have a lot of fights in our school. Boys having fights is rare at our school, even for the older kids. Sometimes the girls argue, but they don't get into fights. I like it that our school has things to help everyone belong, so that we have a good time at school and don't have to worry about being in danger like at some other schools.
Elisabeth Morrison is a guest Blogger (also one of my granddaughters). She is starting junior high school in the fall and enjoys school, track, softball, and swimming.
School violence is something that can be mitigated starting at a very early age. Simple programs like they have at Elisabeth's school helps keep people from feeling lonely or disenfranchised by teaching the students to help make sure that everyone feels a sense of belonging.
Every person has qualities that can enrich our lives...but we only learn that when we invite people to be a part of our lives and for us to be a part of theirs. It only takes one to help one!
See a similar story at https://www.drcarlforkner.com/articles/this-is-simply-brilliant -- interestingly, another story about a 5th grade classroom!