It’s Anit-Bullying week at our school. Since we are a PreK-8 school, younger and older students get to interact. This year the 7th and 8th graders are divided into groups and give a daily 10-minute presentation to a class of younger students.
On Monday morning, three 8th graders entered my classroom right on time. I gathered my students on the rug and the 8th graders began. They led a discussion with my 2nd graders asking what they thought bullying was and then helped them come up with examples.
In the middle of the presentation the best thing happened. My principal entered the classroom and said, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but look who is here….”
In walked L, a student who has been in Brazil since Thanksgiving. All of my class immediately sprang up with joyful shouts of hello’s and yay’s. After L got settled and received many hugs, the 8th graders continued.
One 8th grader said to my class, “You know, that was so amazing. Here we are talking about what bullying is and you guys are doing the exact opposite! Wow, you clearly love each other so much and you show it so well. Keep treating each other like this and there will be no room for bullying.”
As I think about it now, it was so great to see the kindness of my students. Even more special was the fact that other students, not an adult, praised them. I’m sure these 8th graders felt proud for teaching my 2nd graders what bullying is, but I’m sure they walked away with a lesson from my 2nd graders too.