Friday, December 16, 2011

"Be the Change" Seminar

So last week I infiltrated Glassford Hill Middle School and Bradshaw Mountain Middle School to do bit of undercover intelligence and figure out what the kids' thoughts were toward bullying.  My cover was a cool college guy just trying to get some much needed information for my sociology project for school.  Now independent study can have its rewards.  I have a friend on the inside who is the Phys Ed Teacher for the boys who just so happens to be one of my brown belt students. I got along great with each of the kids I surveyed and they seemed thrilled to have a visitor that was so interested in their opinions.   I had questions such as:

  • Do you feel relatively safe coming to school?
  • Could you define what a bully is?
  • Would you say that bullying has become a problem in your school?
  • Have you ever witnessed a fight?
  • What would you do if you were to see someone being bullied?
  • Have you ever been bullied?
  • Have you ever bullied someone yourself?
  • In your own words could you tell me what it means to be cool?
  • Are you looking forward to High School or dreading the idea?
  • Besides the physical, what are some character traits you are developing in this P.E. class?
  • What social skills have you acquired by coming to school as opposed to someone who may be home schooled?
  • Does someone in this room strike you as the meanest kid in class?

Little did they know, I was just trying to get to know everyone better so we would feel more comfortable in the same room during our discussion.  
When people heard about what I was doing they wanted to help in any way possible so I brought them in on the project helping  survey the students.  We interviewed twice as many students and tallied our findings.  I presented everyone with percentages and definitions so that they could have a clearer understanding of how their classmates felt about these issues as a whole.  
In our talks we covered:

  • Superiority vs. Inferiority
  • Non-Violent Communication
  • Levels of Discretion 
  • Negotiation and Mediation
  • Self Defense vs. Retaliation
  • Domination vs. Compassion

I told the students all about my experiences with bullies and how badly it had affected me a personal level.  Students joined in sharing  experiences making it very interactive.  If I changed anyone's views toward bullying, or helped them decide for themselves to start building stronger relationships than I feel that it was a success.  I want the youth of today to start opening their eyes to the world around them and how they are a part of it.  Hoping that they can discover these things and make a change for the better. 
  1. Everyone needs to be heard
  2. Trust and Respect break barriers
  3. Be the change you wish to see in this world
The principles at the schools would like me to speak again for the entire school and I was offered the availability at one for an after school program.  If all goes well perhaps I can have a lasting impact and make a difference in someone's life.  Because I believe that that is what it's all about.  

No comments:

Post a Comment