A New Way of Teaching (And Learning) 2

A New Way of Teaching (And Learning)

Yay! The new headmaster is bringing change!

Glad they are seeing the light, although I would not call them the leader for teaching empathy. They are not the first school on this island to understand the need for change, nor are they the first nationally. Still it is nice that the new headmaster has experience with the importance of empathy, and I do wish him much success as he implements these changes!

I am grateful for every person and school that finally gets it!

More…

Life? Do We Learn From Our Past or Are We Condemned to Repeat It? 2

The Quote

Most of us know some variation of the famous line by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet, we keep repeating past mistakes again and again.

Those We Admire

Most of us admire people like His Holiness, the fourteen Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who showed the world that there are gentler solutions to problems facing society. So, why do we continue to support meanness by failing to speak up when we see it and when we know it is wrong? How can we teach our children to learn from their mistakes if we fail as citizens of the world to learn from ours?

Mistakes

You may be asking yourself, “What mistakes?” Only you can answer for yourself. Let your heart be your guide.

I firmly believe mistakes are our best teachers. I hope so anyway since I have made more than I like. However, this post is about our future, our children.

The Way We Fail

We are failing the next generation when we say things like:

  • What’s the big deal?
  • Bullying has been around forever.
  • Kids will be kids.
  • That kid had it coming!
  • That kid is strange!
  • Don’t play with that kid!
  • I don’t like their parents.

or

When we say:

  • The school is responsible.
  • The parents are responsible.
  • I blame the Internet.
  • I blame social media.
  • That kid just needs a spanking!
  • That kid should be expelled!
  • Those parents should be sued!

or

When we are silent.

The Truth

The truth is everyone in society plays a part. Look around you! Work toward becoming a more compassionate person and setting a better example for our children by speaking up when your heart says:

  • This does not feel right!
  • Why would this be okay?
  • Should we really do that?
  • What happened to liberty and justice for all? That is what it says right? Not liberty for the majority, or just some, or just the ones who are like us?

Make a Difference

Refuse to believe those who say:

  • What can I do?
  • I’m just one person!
  • No one will listen to me!
  • What is the point?

Here’s what you can do if you do not trust your own voice:

  • Support those in your community who speak out if you are not comfortable speaking out yourself.
  • Contact someone you admire who is speaking out and let them know that you are grateful for their voice.
  • Tell your children why it is important to speak out and to back up other children who speak up if they do not feel they can do it themselves.

Inspiring Quotes From Those We Admire

Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  ~Nelson Mandela

There is no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. ~Nelson Mandela

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.  ~Mother Teresa

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.  ~Mother Teresa

Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963

Eliminate the Word Tattling 4


Word Press had what is your favorite word as a prompt a few days ago.  I do not have a favorite word, but I do have a least favorite one.  Well technically I guess it is a more than one word although they are all related to the same root word and meaning.  The words are: tattling, tattle-tale, tattle.  I think we should ban them from schools after second grade and replace them with informing, telling or reporting.  The reason I say this is because bystanders are so important to the safety of victims of bullying, yet too many do not speak up for fear of being labeled a tattle-tale in addition to fearing the bully

I think these words and their connotations discourage our children from reporting bullying. Kids do not want to be labeled as a tattle-tale. I suggest instead of using the word tattling, we talk to children about when to tell and when not to tell. Reporting someone who is harming others is sometimes necessary.  For instance, if you see a child being beaten by others and no one is coming to the child’s rescue, you definitely need to find an adult to help. You also need to find a way to help when someone is repeatedly ganged up on by other children even if it is not physical.

This goes back to the post I wrote about bystanders which you can read if you missed it:

The Importance of Bystanders | dswalkerauthor.

Informing, telling, or reporting to protect someone has a better connotation than tattling. Although criminals might not like informers, most of the rest of us are grateful for them. This is especially true when they take murders and drug pushers off the street.  This is not to imply that bullies are murders or drug pushers, but honestly what they do to the most vulnerable children is almost as bad.

I also still think the schools need to reward the bystander who does speak up with a tangible reward. Let me know what you think. When you were younger would you have been more likely to report someone being mean to another child if you knew you would not be called a tattle-tale, and instead might be rewarded and maybe even be someone’s hero?

Addendum: The video originally included in this post is no longer available. Basically it was a short segment by a group teaching children about reporting versus tattling.

The Importance of Bystanders 11

Thankfully, I had parents who taught me to help people in trouble and yet, until my thirties I did not always do this.  I have never left anyone wounded or bleeding, but there have been times when I have not stopped if I saw others were already at the scene.  I mentioned in a previous blog that I also regret not speaking up to help a friend when someone bullied her on the school bus when I was in high school.  It took me a while to really grow up, so I do get how hard it is for bystanders to step-up and help those in need, although I think it is time we worked to change the apathy within ourselves and others.

What I do not get is why in a time when bully prevention programs encourage bystanders to help, a mail carrier has to fight to try to get her job back after helping a young man who was in danger of being mauled by two pit bulls.  That is just wrong!  See this story:  Mail Carrier Tries to Get Job Back After Helping Boy | NBC Philadelphia.

What I do get and love is bystanders who do help and bloggers who post their stories and helpful information.  Read this post:  Tips for the Bully Bystander « Bullying Stories.

Warning the next link is disturbing, so I understand if you choose to skip it. 

This link includes two examples of how callous people are capable of being:  The Bystander Effect: Alive and Well, Page 2 of 2 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com.

The last two links are information from a teacher’s site about the Holocaust.  I am posting them because I really fear for our nation when bystanders do not speak-up and when I see a tolerance of meanness while kindness and acceptance of differences are seemingly MIA in some of our school age children.

A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust-Victims.

A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust-Bystanders.

Do you speak-up when you see someone being mistreated?  Do you encourage your children to speak-up too?