Monday, June 9, 2008

Teaching the Art of Kindness

Last week I attended the International Stop Cyberbullying Conference and one of the main themes was about whether or not we should be teaching things like kindness and respect in all grades, not just kindergarten or even elementary school. With the advent of the internet comes exacerbated problems like bullying. Except bullying in cyberspace can be done anonymously and is sometimes less obvious. The other big problem these days is kids wanting to "get famous" using iTube and the like by exploiting and bullying other children on camera.

So, what do you think? Should part of our jobs as teachers be teaching kindness and respect? Teaching kids how to be "famous" in good and productive ways like helping others? Take for example, TeenAngels. This is a group of teenagers (and Tweenangels for Tweens) who get educated on all aspects of online safety and then work on community projects to help spread the word to their peers. These groups have gotten lots of attention and met people like Oprah & Tyra. How about that for famous?

P.S. Lots of great educational resources for teaching about online safety and respect were shared. See next post for these great links.


loonyhiker said...

We definitely need to be teaching these social skills by modeling and discussion because a lot of students don't learn these behaviors at home. I have written posts about this also. I can't wait to look at the links you offer.

JLG said...

hey! great blog. I think it is the responsibility of the tech teacher / tech coordinator at the school to initiate and facilitate a conversation within the school community on cyber-bullying. I think parents have a lot of questions and concerns, as do teachers. We can't give parents and teachers all the answers ... but we can help them to have valuable conversations with their kids about cyberbullying. I'm looking forward to seeing your list of resources! -jen