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I am often asked by parents about how our schools are dealing with bullying issues. It is so heartbreaking to see a parent whose child is being bullied to try to do something --anything -- and yet to feel helpless in the face of the pain their child is experiencing.
Bullying is something that completely stymies me. Why do we, as adults, let it go on? Why do some choose to turn a blind eye to this behavior?
Personally, I started teaching my own children to treat their friends well from the time they were small. But, for a myriad of reason, not all parents do this, and it is up to the schools - and other parents - to deal with the results.
Social science has made exponential leaps forward in the last 50 years, and I believe the newest developments show great promise in dealing with bullying as well as a great number of other social and emotional issues that inhibit learning in the classroom.
Oh July 11, 2017, the Edmonds School Board adopted "Second Step" instructional material for teaching Social Emotional Learning in grades K-3. At that time, plans were made to provide 60 teachers and 30 administrators with training in August, 2017.
This is a method of teaching that promotes a positive classroom environment. Students are taught Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making Skills, not as stand-alone subjects, but through specific classroom procedures sewn into the fabric of the day.
Adoption of this program is a bold, progressive move on the part of our School Board and our Superintendent. The results could shape our very society in a positive way for generations to come. Bravo!
Here's a great video that explains SEL: