Go MAD… Stop Bullying
We are still MAD here in Virginia. Our students have all pledged to stop bullying, but in addition they are going a step further and showing an extra measure of kindness to others, in order to truly Make Life Great. As an educator, I realize that it is not enough to just ask children to stop bullying. We must arm them with strategies that help them do so, and enable them to feel good about themselves, while respecting and appreciating others. One recent classroom lesson focused on the unique characters of Dr. Seuss. Our teachers reminded students that everyone is special and has their own qualities that make them different from everyone else. They must learn to appreciate the differences of others and show respect to all fellow human beings. As a visual reminder of this, each sixth grade classroom has a “Yot” on display. A Yot is a colorful character from the Dr. Seuss book “A Wocket in My Pocket.” The Yot lives in a pot, but is very friendly and fun. We have used the name “Yot” and posted the phrase “You’re Obviously Terrific” beside the Yot in each classroom. This serves as a daily reminder to our students that each of them is special. If they are special in their own unique way, then there is no need for them to build themselves up by tearing others down. This is just one example of the many lessons we are creating here at our school to help our students resist the temptation to bully. It all hit home when one of my sixth grade girls came into the room the other day and told me how she loved seeing the Yot in my classroom. She said it gave her a good feeling every time she came in. Although, my main job is to teach science, I am so thankful that I have been given this additional opportunity to be MAD. I am attaching pictures of our Yots and of our most recent “kindness strip” candy winners. The students have submitted over 200 “kindness strips” in the past couple of weeks. Each strip represents a random act of kindness that the child has completed at school, at home, or in our community. I then randomly select candy winners from the submissions and link all of the strips together to form our ever-growing kindness chain. This serves as another visual reminder to the students that they should be Making A Difference and Making Life Great! I am also sending a picture of part of our kindness chain, surrounding an anti-bullying poster that our students created.
Thank you for Making A Difference in my life and in the lives of so many others,
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