October is National Bullying Prevention Month so I did an in-classroom lesson on bullying for the 5th graders. We discussed what it feels like when someone is mean to you-most said sad, hurt, embarrassed, angry etc. so then we discussed why we would make others feel that way. We talked about the different types of bullying as well as the impact bullying has on the victim, the bully, the bystander, and the school as a whole. Finally, we talked about what to do when we see bullying and how to make our school a kinder environment. The take away message was that we are all capable of being kind and we need to do our best to make our school a safe environment for everyone.
I went into the 5th grade classes to read "All Dogs Have ADHD", "All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome", and partial essays from kids with siblings that have disabilities. The next day I went back in for questions and discussions. The students learned that we may not know who has a disability from just looking at them, if someone looks different than we do or learns different than we do that's okay and we can still be their friend and get to know them. The biggest take away message was from the book full of quotes from kids with siblings with disabilities from the sister of a boy with Down Syndrome that said, ..sometimes my sibling can't control their behavior so other kids are cruel to him. Those kids CAN control there behavior and it's NEVER okay to be cruel.