October is Anti-Bullying month. While the topic has national attention, let’s engage in conversations on how communities are going to handle bullying issues across our country. Having children of my own, and being a former educator, it’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart.
As I gear up to head off to this year’s 2011 Annual Learning Forward conference with Fierce, where our Founder Susan Scott will be doing a session on Accountability, I can’t help but step back and see how important, now more than ever, it is for teachers and administrators to create an environment for our children where personal accountability is not just talked about, but actually occurring. Our children’s safety, academic growth and the school environment are dependent on it.
Being personally accountable involves having the conversations that need to occur. Bullying becomes an issue when conversations aren’t happening or are ignored. Time and time again we hear stories about children not going to an adult when being bullied or when they see it happening to others. They do this because it’s scary to stand up.
Fear of the unknown keeps the kids silent. Fear of not knowing how to have the conversation keeps the adults silent.
When we provide administrators, teachers, children and young adults the tools to engage in conversations that may be difficult, we give them the skills to come out from behind themselves with their feelings and opinions and combat fear with curiosity.
Having the conversation opens up the pathways for real relationships to get established. In strengthening these relationships between students, students and teachers, and students and parents we’re being accountable to one another. We have to teach our children this skillset so they can live the motto “If it is to be, it is up to me”.
In honor of Anti-Bullying month and because our children and schools need us too, let’s have this conversation.