Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Better than expected

Things went much better than I ever expected at the anti-bullying session I taught this morning at the Stephen Bull Fine Arts Elementary School today. A huge thank you to Ms. Orlando who both invited me there for their program, and for also keeping a pulse on the group and raising her hand to ask pointed questions to help keep me on track with the time. She really helped me to change the aspects of my talk regularly as I was addressing the questions of the students.

As I may have mentioned previously, the little ones cause me terror. Ask me not why, they just do. During the first session with the K-2nd graders, I was sweating bullets. I got the talk going, engaged them, and there were so many hands going up asking questions or telling what bullying is and even offering suggestions what someone could do if someone was being bullied. I was amazed by how attentive they were and by how much they wanted to contribute to the session.

During the ten minutes or so between sessions, Ms. Orlando gave me a couple of suggestions for the older group, and changed her prompts accordingly, an off we went. With this group, I wish I had an hour longer. When I was their age is really when I got picked on (3-5) and it only got worse from there. It was in this group that I got a most unexpected surprise.

After I gave my talk on how to ‘diffuse’ a bullying situation one girl raised her hand and said, “ When someone is being picked on I can say ‘That’s not funny’, grab their arm and walk away.” I can tell you I almost shed a tear at that moment, because a young girl in the fourth or fifth grade taught me a most profound lesson. I had never even considered that simple yet profound act.

To have been schooled by such a young one teaches that our adult minds can get lost in the complexity of a simple situation. At times it takes a young, somewhat uncluttered mind, to remind the adults to see through all the b.s. and get to what is important, just help someone in need. Thank you young lady in the ‘Hello Kitty’ tee.

To all of the teachers out there, all I can say is wow, I don’t know how you do it every day. This was my first time with the young ones, but wow, that was a lot of energy to even attempt to keep on any type of focus. To all teachers out there, I bow to you, your task is both a difficult and under appreciated one.

1 comment:

Bill Hetland said...

It is a challenge to work with youngsters. Glad you had a good experience. I've told our adolescent counselors I greatly admire them for their work.