Vice Principal’s Corner

“If we can bring our children understanding, comfort, and hopefulness when they need this kind of support, then they are more likely to grow into adults who can find these resources within themselves later on.” – Fred rogers

I recently watched a documentary about Fred Rogers on PBS.  The show highlighted all the supports he provided children and those who care for them.  All of his efforts focused on relationships, as he believed it is through our social interactions that we learn, grow and develop into our best selves.

I was struck by the similarities between Fred Rogers’ philosophy and much of what we do at Lawrence School.  Since we implemented the Olweus Anti-Bullying and Prevention Program last January, homerooms and advisories have conducted one “Olweus” meeting a week in addition to their morning meetings where they prepare for the day’s learning.  The topics discussed at these Olweus meetings deal with relationship building, kindness, self-advocacy, developing empathy, responsibility and more.

At the end of last year, Lawrence BPCC (Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee) members heard that specialists (non-classroom teachers) wanted to feel more connected to the Olweus program. As a result, this year all thirty-one sections have at least one specialist assigned to participate in a monthly Olweus meeting. We want our students to see all the adults as advocates for a safe and caring community.

Last Friday, On December 6, 2013, Mr. Rick Rogers and I had the joy and pleasure of visiting many of these meetings where specialists ran the activity after collaborating with the classroom teacher during a previous faculty meeting.  The following describes glimpses of our goal of living up to the Lawrence School Vision which starts, “Amos A. Lawrence School is a safe, just and caring learning community of students, staff and families.”

Kindergarten-Creating a list of “experts” in the class so students know who to ask for help when needed.

Third Grade-Finding courage to speak up when you know something is wrong or someone is hurting/Discussion on sarcasm and how it makes people feel

Fourth Grade-Singing songs about kindness and friendship/how students have grown in a year and what it means to be courageous and help a peer in fourth grade

Fifth Grade-Role Playing real life social interactions that occur at school and how to navigate them

Sixth Grade-Reading a fable to set the stage for a discussion about rumors and gossip and the far-reaching pain they can cause (in person and on-line)

Seventh Grade-Discussing last March OBQ results with students to discuss Hot Spots of where bullying-like behaviors occur in school and brainstorming solutions to end them.

It was a beautiful day inside the Lawrence neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Monica Crowley

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