When teachers wonder “What should I do?” in response to challenging student behaviors, the answers are not as simple as they might seem. What teachers can do also depends, at least in part, on external demands (e.g., discipline codes, principal expectations, time pressures on teaching content and testing) that can either facilitate or thwart positive resolutions of conflicts. The most effective teachers in working with challenging students had very positive relationships with them. For years, many school districts have provided training or support around positive discipline but with little evidence of improving the culture of punishment that pervades many New York City schools. This author found that most educators were not directly trained in the strategies their schools were trying to implement. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a tiered framework of positive behavior systems in a school. Success depends on having clear expectations that are taught, rehearsed, and reinforced consistently across settings. In spring 2012, The Atlantic Philanthropies awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to the consortium that helped cover start-up costs, technology, and professional development. With this grant, the consortium has sought to support schools regarding student behavior. This was the beginning of what would become the Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC), an initiative jointly run by the United Federation of Teachers and the New York City Department of Education to help educators create positive school environments. The Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC) is a holistic approach that focuses on teaching reflective and restorative practices and was implemented in the New York City school system. To that end, educators are coached to be mindful of their own internal dialogue and to teach students coping skills to deal with feelings such as anger and frustration.
STEPS for Early Childhood Practitioners is a comprehensive training program using The Ophelia Project’s Five Critical Steps framework. Through this training, Early Childhood practitioners learn to observe aggression in the classroom and develop skills to carefully and consciously change the social climate of preschools and childcare centers. The training modules empower practitioners to integrate using positive language and pro-social norms as part of their everyday interactions with children and also shows how to create lesson plans to promote empathy, conflict resolution, respect, civility, and manners.
A prevention curriculum teaching young children positive social skills, “Let’s Be Friends” presents useful tools that enable students to co-create a positive social environment that fosters kindness, compassion and responsibility. The 45-page pdf provides 8 lessons targeted toward early elementary students.
Lesson One: Positive Attributes
Lesson Two: Internal & External Strengths
Lesson Three: What is a Friend?
Lesson Four: Qualities of Friends
Lesson Five: Understanding Conflict
Lesson Six: Building Empathy
Lesson Seven: Ways to be a Friend
Lesson Eight: Reflecting on Friendships
Peaceworkers UK developed this detailed description of the Core Skills they consider essential for Conflict Work and the vocational standards associated with them.
Core Skill 1: Research Skills
Core Skill 2: Written Communication
Core Skill 3: Verbal Communication
Core Skill 4: Self-Management
Core Skill 5: Conflict Management
Core Skill 6: Observation Skills
Core Skill 7: Teamwork
Core Skill 8: Cultural Sensitivity
Core Skill 9: Gender Awareness
60-page pdf resource kit for presenting restorative conferences which “(involves the gathering of those who have a stake in a particular troublesome situation, to talk together to find ways of making amends) … the purpose of these conferences is to discuss what the problem might be and to pool ideas about what might be most helpful from here, for all concerned, from this pool of ideas should emerge a plan for restoration of the situation… These Conferences offer a helpful step forward by involving a range of participants who both contribute to and are affected by the situation at hand, they promote a spirit of open and direct conversation and add a human touch to the process of addressing transgressions… this Resource Kit represents the culmination of 18 months of work by a group whose links are with restorative justice, Maori protocols, and counsellor training with narrative therapy at the University of Waikato.” Includes bibliography
This 33-page pdf is intended to give those who work in and with schools a sense of what peer mediation is, what it sets out to achieve, and the issues that need to be considered if it is to be introduced into a school. It looks primarily at literature produced in and for the UK. The guide is part of the UK’s contribution to the two-year European project ROI – Violence among children and young people: intervention programmes in schools funded by the Daphne-EU programme to combat violence against children, young people and women.
63-page pdf guide which, “provides educators, law enforcement personnel, parents, and other family
and community members with information and resources for establishing peer leadership
programs in secondary schools and youth service organizations that give students the skills and
confidence to stand up for civility in their schools and communities and to become role models in confronting bias-motivated harassment.” Includes a list of a variety of peer leadership program models from around the country and bibliographical references.
65-page pdf document which, “includes a set of ten
lessons for middle school educators or youth service professionals to use within their existing curriculum.
The lessons reinforce concepts discussed throughout the Partners Against Hate publication Program Activity Guide: Helping Youth Resist Bias and Hate, 2nd edition. The lessons explore the following four themes that encourage individual and collective reflection, research, and action.” Includes bibliographical references.
104-page pdf guide which, “provides
parents, educators, and other adults working with middle school aged children with tools and strategies to engage in constructive discussions and activities about the causes and effects of prejudice and bias-motivated behavior and to intervene, when needed, with youth who engage in such behavior.” Includes bibliographical references.
120-page pdf guide which “provides parents, educators and other adults with tools and strategies to engage in constructive discussions and activities about the causes and effects of prejudice and bias-motivated behavior and to intervene, when needed, with children who engage in such behavior.” Includes twenty-eight activities and bibliographical references.
Powerpoint presentation introducing second step, a program for elementary school children which develops skills in the areas of empathy, impulse control and anger management.
One page conversation sign up sheet.
Pdf document that uses the telling of “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Maligned Wolf” to help children (grades K-8) see both sides of every story.