When I was 12, there was a gang leader in my class. She was clever, pretty and powerful and if you weren’t in her group, you were no-one. Her followers were highly trained in the art of excluding others and making them feel worthless.
Not much has changed in the world of school, but bullying has been amplified by social media. I can only imagine what life for us nobodies would have been like, if the powerful leader and her gang had been able to post photos of us on Snapchat and multiply the nastiness via a Whatsapp group from which we were excluded.
It’s only too easy to lament the tragedy of it all, blame the children, their parents, ourselves and especially technology. Instead we need to:
Commit to the change we want to see.
Are we prepared to take action? What’s a good name for the project? – Platform
Articulate the desired outcome in detail.
Imagine the culture we’d like to cultivate. What will it look like? What will be noticeable? What will others see? – Future Perfect
Reflect on where we are now.
What would take us up a notch or two? What would the first tiny signs of progress be? – Scale
Notice what is already happening.
Gather data from kids, teachers and parents. What’s going well? What successes have there been? How were they achieved? – Counters
Decide what action to take.
What small steps will we take? What specific and concrete steps will propel us forward? – Small Actions
We might name our project ‘ Increasing a culture of kindness’. Do you have ideas to share? What’s working at your school?