This article is the second installment on initiatives being implemented before the close of this school year that will be carried into next year. Last week we highlighted the initiative about literacy screening for kindergarten. In the spotlight this week is an initiative focused on the social/ emotional development of TIS students in relation to peer interaction with an emphasis on bullying.
This initiative is designed to increase awareness of the TIS community concerning the dynamics that surround bullying. The benefit is that we, as a community, could see student social interactions through different eyes. We will be able to better indentify bullying behaviors earlier as well as understand better how to work with the students to redirect behavior.
We are beginning with student assemblies and a professional development session for staff presented by Trudy Ludwig (trudyludwig.com). Trudy is an award-winning author who specializes in writing books on children’s social relations specifically addressing relational aggression (the use of relations to manipulate and hurt others). These assemblies and the staff session will take place the week of May 13th.
With that as our introduction, we will then design a series of continued interactions for the 2013-14 school year including continued student education through our weekly assemblies, linking that education to the learner profile, further staff education on addressing relational aggression, and parent education as well. We will continue to draw on support of experts such as Trudy Ludwig.
It will be through this institutional approach that we can develop a common vocabulary concerning peer interaction. From this we can better articulate our community expectations and relate them to our existing philosophies like the learner profile. Continued focus over time will allow us to build and refine our practice supporting the social/emotional development of our students.
These are the broad strokes of the second initiative. Keep an eye out for background on a third initiative in the coming editions of ITK.
Robert Woods, Head of School, Robert@@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x122