Archive for March, 2018
I had a great time visiting Pohatcong School District this week in eastern NJ! This is the third time I’ve been to the K-8 school near Phillipsburg, NJ and each time, I just enjoy the students (and faculty!) more and more. Whether it was during last period on Friday afternoon or first thing on Monday morning, the students of all ages were attentive, engaged, curious, and respectful. They asked great questions, gave spot-on responses, and came up with some fantastic ideas for how to stand up for and reach out to peers who are on the receiving end of cruelty.
A bonus from this visit was that in addition to getting to hear from the kids, three teachers shared their thoughts on my presentations as well:
“Signe Whitson’s presentation was 100 percent appropriate for our students. She was extremely energetic and really connected with our students! It was even helpful for teachers to hear the differences between “bullying, meanness and rudeness.” I know the kids really remember the 3 P’s of Bullying as well. This will really come in handy when students are trying to determine if they are in a bullying situation or not. Thanks a ton!”
I went with the 6th grade girls and it was about recognizing the differences between rude, mean, and bullying behaviors, which I felt was very important to know and well received by the girls. For the most part, I think they realized that most of what they quickly call “bullying” is actually “mean” and now they know to look for repetition and an imbalance of power for it to be labeled bullying. Also, it was made clear that if they feel bullied, they need to tell someone, even a friend!!!!
Thank you, Signe. Your in-services are so valuable and helpful to not only our students but the staff as well.
Visit my Bullying Prevention Workshops page for details on available school presentation topics or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a great 2-part story, shared with permission by a friend, about her young daughter learning to use her voice to stand up to gossip and cruelty:
So, this is a story that I hope brings a chuckle to you. My youngest daughter, L, deals with and comes home with a lot of girl drama in her class and yesterday began relaying the latest. As she started, I said I didn’t want to hear anything about these girls because it’s a waste of our energy to keep spending time on their issues. While she’s never their target, they triangulate and manipulate for their own purposes and put kids like her in uncomfortable situations. She quickly stopped me, “No, mom, you need to hear how I stood up for myself. Today, _____ started saying something nasty about ____ and I said, ‘stop right there—I am NOT a part of this situation’ and _____ shrugged her shoulders and walked away”.
With that one sentence she stopped hurtful, negative energy in its tracks and sent a very clear message to a master drama queen. And she felt empowered. We applauded her and she ran out of the room with my phone. She returned with the Wonder Woman theme song blaring and dancing, showcasing her strengths as a young girl facing down mean girls and their manipulations. It’s a big thing when a child learns the power of her words, that they alone are weapons against unkindness. Proud mama moment. May we all raise wonder women.