Friday, April 20, 2012

Conflict Resolution

So I just taught a lesson to my students about conflict resolution.  We read a fable from Australia about name calling, discussed how name calling made us feel and how we could handle it, wrote a list of sentence starters, and did some role playing with characters like Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.  Not only have we talked about standing up for ourselves this year but we have also discussed how to stand up for your friends if you see something going on.  I ask the kids to do it...I expect that they will stand up for their classmates and yet....I can't do the same thing.
I was letting my dog out this morning at about 6:45am when my downstairs neighbors decided to bring their argument out to the sidewalk.  Now these neighbors like to smoke illegal substances on the porch and listen to loud music at all times of the night, however, I believe that no one should have been subjected to the yelling that pursued.  The woman sat with her arms crossed just taking it as the man yelled, cursed, and berated her.  He used very few other words besides F*&% and B$%&*. Most of it wasn't even grammatically correct (but that's the teacher in me).  Did I go over and stand up for this woman? No.  Did I approach the situation so he didn't feel like he could gang up on her? No.  Instead I tried to make myself invisible which was hard with my dog barking at this man.  I didn't make eye contact and tried not to look.  I didn't want him to yell at me or worse.  I realize this was the best choice and all my friends would tell me the same thing.  But then I begin to students not feel the same way? 

Aren't 9-year-old bullies just as scary to 9-year-olds?

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