Maintaining a Safe and Kind Environment at NBS
At North Branch we maintain a safe and kind environment, teaching self control and self advocacy, every day, in every class and on every part of the playground. We work to help children see themselves in all sides of a situation, to focus on kindness and respect.
“The most effective bullying interventions don’t focus on only one category of kids, but rather acknowledge that all students benefit when schools empower youth and teach them about healthy relationships.”
Excerpted from Teaching Tolerance, 2013
Best practice in school settings includes ongoing work to
“change the language of bullying. Many educators think that the term bully has become an ill-defined buzzword that contributes to binary thinking (bullies are evil, victims are innocent) … Experts recommend talking instead about healthy relationships, behavior, rights and choices. Ideally, schools should train the entire staff to align the way they talk about these expectations so students hear consistent messages. Talking about empathy and relationship choices also dismantles the perception that being a “bully” is a fixed identity.”
From Teaching Tolerance, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center
At NBS we work to help children realize that bully is a verb, an action taken, not a permanent state of being. Very often, students don’t imagine that the action they are doing could be considered “bullying,” because it is not “a big deal.” We try to respond to unkindness in all forms, large and small. We try to help students see that laughing at a peer, for example, can be hurtful. The focus on kindness and respect in all situations includes how one chooses a seat in the classroom, chooses a partner for a project or game, or controls one’s facial expression when a classmate speaks, as well as controlling one’s body in all situations.
How do we respond at North Branch when actions are unsafe or unkind among 3- and 4-year-olds?
How do we respond to 5-8 year olds when actions are unsafe or unkind?
How do we respond to 8-10 year olds when actions are unsafe or unkind?
How do we respond to unsafe or unkind behavior in 10-14 year olds?