What is the Solution for Bullying in Our Schools?
A culture of bullying pervades our schools. Schools are spending millions of dollars each year on anti-bullying endeavors. Many workshops are provided by dynamic speakers full of impressive words about bullying. Educators attend lectures, take part in conferences, organize a ‘Respect Week’, read articles, and compile data. Have these efforts actually solved the problem of bullying in our schools?
What is vitally needed is to teach the use of effective communication skills. Call it Social Emotional Learning (SEL). What is needed is experiential learning such as role-playing and the sharing of experiences when assigned skills are actually used. CommunicateForever provides a course that empowers students and parents to teach themselves to use 40 communication skills to become better communicators and more emotionally intelligent. The CommunicateForever course will lead to more respect and empathy among students and the ability to form closer connections and relationships. Ultimately, the implementation of this course will increase academic performance for students as well as reduce bullying and other forms of violence in our schools.
Parent Teacher organizations can provide the CommunicateForever course to both parents and students as a fundraiser. Our goal is not to create fundraisers, but fundraisers won’t hurt. Our goal is provide a way for student to create more successful lives. Providing the course for both parents and student together can dramatically enhance the use of the skills by students.
Forty five school superintendents were shown the course. Each person looked at the course and was then asked about its importance. Every single superintendent said the course is more important that reading, writing, and math. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the next frontier in education, and CommunicateForever provides an effective curriculum via workbooks, and apps on computers, pads, or smartphones. In addition to the course, students may engage in project-based learning and create their own dialogs and videos, and share those in the classroom, in forums, and in the CommunicateForever YouTube channel. Surveys enable individuals to create their own private scores for both the frequency of use of the skills and for emotional intelligence. Data can be produced for major research projects and validation. And educators on every level will be able to observe how SEL learning relates to academic achievement and student conduct. School management and education agencies can access online data reporting capabilities.
Social Emotional Learning: SEL involves learning to use simple but powerful communication skills. The use of the skills can lead to enhanced emotional sensitivity, awareness, and changed behavior. Changed behavior can create satisfying results which encourages growth.
In a CommunicateForever class students and their parents, along with other participants, can do the following:
- Read a description of the skill.
- Role-play already created skill starter statements and already-created sample dialogs for each skill. Students and parents may role-play with each other or with other participants.
- Discuss the communication skill.
- Practice using the skills at home or with friends.
- Share experiences using specific skills with others in the class.
- Assignments for project based learning: create dialogs, write stories about their experiences when using some of the skills, share stories, role-play student created dialogs in the class.
Surveys: One survey enables participants to create a private score based on the frequency of using the skills. A second survey enables participants to create a private score for emotional intelligence. Anonymous aggregate scores will be available to schools and districts for longitudinal studies over time. Serious difficulties may be brought to the attention of school management and counselors.
Emotional Intelligence: • Learning to use skills that help to more easily express emotions such as fear, anger, envy, grief, and love. • Understanding that holding in fear can lead to panic. Holding in anger can lead to rage. Holding in envy can lead to jealousy. Holding in grief can lead to depression. Not being able to give or receive love can lead to possessiveness. • Knowing that the emotions are our tools to create a healthy safe dynamic life. Holding in feelings can create pain, and difficult relationships. For parents, emotional intelligence can be defined as • Empowering children to easily express their emotions by acknowledging emotions. Some parents, by their example and their words, unknowingly teach their children to repress and hold in emotions. This can change. Raising our youth to more easily express emotions and better negotiate their lives can help lead to an ever more advanced civilization in the coming generations.
The solution: Provide experiential learning of communication skills to help replace inadequate and dangerous communication. Providing this course just for students will help, but to be deeply effective parents need to also be invited. Most parents sincerely want to be more understanding, patient, and kind. They want their children to be more emotionally mature. Learning to actually use the skills in the CommunicateForever course can help parents and children create more functional families. This can help create a forward-thinking school culture, and much more. Schools are our hope for a better future. We need to do more than just tell students to “stop” unwanted conduct. And we need to clearly recognize that bullying cannot be solved with punitive consequences.
We must proactively replace bullying with a solution that works. And of course, inclusion is needed. Both the victims and those who bully victims need help. Parents need help. All students need to learn to support and to stand up for their fellow students. And educators and staff can be encouraged to take the course and be better able to support all students.
- Parent Teacher organizations or associations (PTAs) can provide the course and do so as a fundraiser. PTAs are independent and can act without waiting for a school board or for a government’s education agency approval. The course can be provided at the school after school hours during early evenings and on a Saturday.
- Create a fundraising estimate for one school, or for several schools, or for an entire school district. On www.CommunicateForever.org. click on ‘Schools’ and then ‘Parent Teacher Association’. Open the fundraising spreadsheet. Modify the red numbers to fit your student population. Save your estimate to your hard disk.
- View the document ‘Schools – How to Get Started’. Basically have one person become a facilitator, which can be very simple. This person can train other facilitators. Invite some members of one or more PTAs to a first beginning class and facilitate two or three skills. Learn how the course is provided by providing at least one class. Decide what percent of the funds raised goes to the PTA, the school, or the district. PTA members can be facilitators. Lectures are definitely not wanted. A subject matter expert who talks on and on is not wanted. View the introduction video on the CommunicateForever website.
The spreadsheet and the comments.
Send your questions, or phone with questions.