Focused attention is what we crave in relationships. In it’s absence we feel an empty chasm, that leaves us wanting. We never want our students to feel this.
In classrooms across the United States today and in the days to come there will be children who are worried and concerned after learning about our presidential election results. Children, who have heard words and comments from a president-elect that they know are dangerous and cruel. Children, who are among a minority that may feel wary coming to school for fear of bullying. Children, who have heard hateful phrases and chants that now feel it’s ok to say negative things about others. Children, who believe in superheroes and wonder who is going to save them. We must focus our attention on all learners; those who are afraid and those who are not.
Educators, roll up your sleeves there’s work to do. This derisive election cycle has caused havoc long enough. Our country has elected a new president and it is time to move on. Take a few moments if you must to gather your thoughts, your senses and then harness your disbelief at what may feel like betrayal of all that is good and moral and use it to help guide the next generation. Use your fear, worry, and courage to help children understand that bullying is still wrong, that character does matter. Every. Person. Matters.
To some educators this may feel like a time of crisis. Never fear, teachers are at their best during a watershed. They take charge. They lead the way. They are adept at pushing back their own distress and doing what needs to be done for the sake of children. This is our rally call. This is our chance to change the rhetoric in our world, in their world. We can’t allow anxiety to soak into children’s sponge-like spirits. They take their lead from the adults around them. Since teachers are with children more hours than their families it’s important that the message is clear. Every. Person. Matters.
When we feel helpless taking action is constructive and soothes the soul. Let’s shift our energy by empowering our students. The currency of love is focused attention. Let’s be proactive starting today with focused attention on every child concerning tolerance and an anti-bullying message. Let’s teach our kids to recognize their own power and to be advocates for themselves and others. Just as importantly, let’s model how to conduct ourselves when the world may seem like it’s topsy-turvy.
Educators, there's important work to do but you are up to the task. It’s times like these when you shine. Every child deserves to feel safe and loved. Let’s value their currency and focus our attention on them.
National Bulllying Prevention Center
Cartoon Network: Speak Up- Bullying
Change Attitudes Toward Bullying: Be An Ally; Teaching Channel
BrainPop Jr: Bullying
Teens Against Bullying
Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna - Video of the story
Crumpled Paper Lesson (Easy and powerful way to get the message across)
Toothpaste Bullying Lesson (I've used travel-size toothpaste for this lesson)
*Image provided by Pixabay.com, User Shawn1. March 26, 2014