What was the key takeaway from this year's Bullying Prevention Summit, hosted by the Department of Education?
It's not a revelation that we need to focus on the big picture, not just the incident. We need to be deliberate about influencing the environment and culture that allows bullying behavior to take place.
A couple of weeks back I wrote about “The Unknown Students" and outlined a simple process for discovering which students are flying under the radar and are unknown by adults at the school. In discussing solutions such as having adults linked to students as mentors to get to know them, it was made clear that the key factor is that the students believe that their teachers and other adults at the school know them. It’s not enough that we may think we know them—it has to be from the students' perspective. In this situation, the students' perception is their reality.
But, this doesn't automatically mean that teachers need to do more, engage more, or try more. For some teachers, it means that they should actually keep doing what they are doing, but be more aware of what they are doing and why it is being done.
A whole child approach to education is not something that is unique to the United States, or even to North America. It is an approach to education that has been taken up by many communities, regions, and countries. It is an approach that understands that education is more than just academic achievement and that ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, and engaged is a necessity if we want to support student growth and provide meaningful challenges to those same students. The five Whole Child Tenets—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—are the prerequisites for an effective education that allows students to grow, learn, and develop their full potential.
Hot off the presses! We have released a second Canadian edition of the Healthy School Report Card action tool. Developed by ASCD's Healthy School Communities (HSC), the publication was coauthored by prominent experts in the fields of health and education: David K. Lohrmann, Sandra Vamos, and Paul Yeung. But you may be asking yourself: Why did we develop a Canadian edition and why did we move to a second edition?
In fact, the reason given why many of these schools are adding "enrichment classes" into recess time is because they have been pushed out of the daily schedule by academic cuts. And this is even though there have been countless studies showing and editorials discussing the benefits of play, whether it be for physical health, social and emotional health, all of the above, and even academic development.
This month's theme is about integrating movement across the school day. It's a theme that aims to look at not only why physical activity should be incorporated into and across the school day, but also how it can be.