Sticks and stones may break my bones....

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me'

Yeah right.

I dislike that saying so much.

It's almost like it gives people a reason to bully with words, cause they don't hurt.

I got 3 days relief work last week in the same class.  This class is a little all over the place as there has been a reshuffle of the lower grades and there are 8 new pupils and 8 who left over the last 2 weeks.  They are having to get to know each other all over again and they are unsettled.

By morning break on the 2nd day, I had my 5th incident of a boy crying because they had been picked on - most of the time they were not an innocent party in the whole incident, but things had gone to far.

We are talking 8 year old boys, they don't like crying in front of others, but I had full on tears.

I chucked the curriculum out the window.  I knew this had to be dealt with.  I checked with some of the the other teachers, who confirmed that the class teacher had been having issues with the class getting along.

I put a large piece of paper on the board and drew a person on it.  I led a discussion on how much names hurt and how they stick, and stick for a long long long time.

I asked them to tell me some of the names they have been called at school.   Some of it just made me want to cry, kids can be cruel.  I wrote the names inside our 'person'

Using the ideas out there in blog world, I then screwed up the person calling it all the names the kids have been called (they were shocked I tell yah).

They all sat in a circle and one by one they said sorry to our guy and tried to smooth him out.

We made observations at the end that he was still hurt and ripped and crinkled and that sorry did not take the words away.  I told them how it can take 10-20 nice comments to undo 1 bad comment.

I set them homework of talking to their parents about some of the names they were called at school, I assured them that if they were bullied they would still, after all these years, remember the names.

The following day we added the names that parents had been called, we talked about if they hadn't hurt then they wouldn't be remembered.  I even had the 'N' word brought up which brought about a conversation of never ever using that word.   I had to have several conversations that I didn't think I would have to have with 8 year olds!!!

The class then made their own mini posters about bullying based on what they took away from the last two days.  It was interesting to see what stuck with them.  We then turned this into a poster which the class teacher has hung in the class as a reminder.

I am proud of what they achieved.  I forgot to take a photo, so I will have to go back and do that and add it to this post later.

The big thing they took away "names hurt".

No comments