By: Christine Olding
Something is to be said about the behavior issues that we each face at our differing schools. We all face trying situations and difficult conflicts to resolve. It is obvious that one child can hinder the learning of twenty- four others which means behavior is something that needs to be tended to. At Hamilton, we are going to implement a behavior initiative, 50 Acts of Kindness, something that will hopefully make the problem the solution.
The initiative is designed for us to work with the students who have the most behavioral issues on record. We are going to meet with them once a week during lunch to discuss how to deal with their emotions in a healthy manner and most importantly, to teach them what it takes to be a leader. Between the seven of us, we are going to tackle 3rd-6th grade. We each are going to be working with our respective grades, for instance, I will be working with 4th grade since that is the grade I provide whole class and small group tutoring for. My team is currently deciding which students we will be working with, something that is a lot harder than I originally thought. A lot of these students have a wide range of behavioral issues that need to be addressed.
How exactly are we going to do this?
The answer is simple. Our small groups, consisting of four to six children, will be taken out during their lunch period. We are going to have them eat lunch with us and do short lesson plans about the differing topics. First, however, a strict, yet reasonable, set of rules must be implemented so that each child knows the consequences of acting out during this precious time period. Secondly, we must try to figure out how to best implement each lesson to fit the specific group of students we are going to be working with. Since we are only going to have roughly twenty minutes, this aspect is of the utmost importance.
What will a typical session look like?
Ideally, it would go something like this. The students will walk in during their lunch where we will be waiting for them. They would eat their lunch in a timely and quiet fashion and after they are finished eating, a fun, yet informational lesson plan will take place. For instance, if that day we are discussing the characteristics of a leader, a game of leadership charades could be played where each child acts out a differing quality that is possessed by a leader. After the game, a small discussion would be held to talk about why those qualities are necessary. Though, this is a very important and serious issue, we still want to make sure the students have fun and enjoy what they are learning.
City Year is trying to give these students a chance to make a difference, to change not only themselves, but also their school. My team is very excited and eager to begin this process in the hopes of making the problem the solution. Throughout the year, I will keep the readers updated on the progress of this behavioral initiative. So, make sure to look for it in the upcoming months!