Any of us can recount stories about bullies from our own experiences in school. While we may not have been a victim, we may have been a bystander or even a perpetrator. We can vividly tell stories about the elementary school student that was targeted because they were not popular or the child that was constantly harassed at recess. There are numerous reasons why students may bully others. This works under the premise that experiencing bullying is not just a “rite of passage” and there are skills you can equip your children with to help them thrive. Parents must remember anyone can be a bully. Bullying in schools is a source of public outrage in media outlets. While your child’s school or school district may have various programs to address bullying and institute peer mediation, positive choice making and social skills to curb bullying, as a parent there are numerous things you can do to equip your child. Here is an inspiring story on athletes stepping up to take a stand
While no one has the right to be bullied, help with the understanding that some children are more susceptible to being a victim then others. Those who are isolated or seek excessive attention by pestering or overcompensating for insecurity may be more likely to be bullied. There is no rationale for bullying being tolerated in schools. However, understanding your children’s tendencies will help you help them navigate through school and provide them with the tools to be successful in their adult life, where bullying doesn’t necessarily end.
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A month ago, my boss asked me to explore the reasons we cheat, and, at the time, I did not want to invest the energy, because it was irrelevant. The reasons may be understood as somewhat justified, but it seemed so black and white to me. It was inappropriate–just plain wrong. Now, the details of the Atlanta Public School system’s cheating scandal unravel each day with a new administrator, teacher, or principal coming forward to admit his or her guilt in what is being called the largest public school cheating scandal.
Details of the 2 ½ year investigation, involving over 178 administrators in this case, are a nasty blemish on the public school system. Atlanta is not an isolated case, with reports of multiple cheating scandals on standardized testing in various states.
The reasons and excuses are many: There was a culture of cheating (sounds very Lance Armstrong-ish); there were rewards both monetarily and career wise; the weight of standardized test scores was too heavy on teacher evaluations; and, of course, the whopper to blame for all this cheating is No Child Left Behind. I felt compassion for one teacher, a single parent who was afraid to lose her job, if she did not conform to the cheating culture. In the end, she lost her job because she chose to cheat. The reasons should not be ignored, and their validity requires a deeper analysis of current measurements of effective learning and teaching.
But, at the end of the day, you are an educator. Sorry, but you are held to a higher standard of sound judgment, because there is no other appointment more honorable than teaching. Teaching is a distinguished profession that embodies truthful, respectable, ethical, conscientious behavior. You are influencing, molding, encouraging and promoting the growth of another human being with potential to do something marvelous, like–teach.
I believe teachers should get paid like rock stars and be given every resource possible to reach students in their classes. Perhaps that is my naïve perspective, and I know people do not pursue careers in education for the financial benefits and accolades. Typically, the pursuit is made with the idea of imparting knowledge or a love of children.
Deception will have consequences, be it externally or internally. Cheating is a toxic method and model to impart knowledge, and love is never manipulative.
Sound off your thoughts and opinions on the topic.
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~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice