English Drops

By Teacher Claudia

BULLYING 


I tend to believe there is a biological and a psychological reason behind our every action.

As a teacher, I often see kids misbehave, get distracted or perform badly in tests, and instead of getting angry and mad at them, I work with them and help them get better, because 9 times out of 10 there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. Nothing more, nothing less

Nonetheless, there still is one thing I cannot, under any circumstance, tolerate, and that is bullying.


Standing on someone else’s shoulders, undermining someone’s self-esteem, taking advantage of a weaker person that has no one to be defended by. Whether big or small, physical or verbal, these are all despicable and terrible acts that can have an enormous impact on the person at the receiving end - what sounds like an innocent joke to some, can be a soul-scarring insult to others.


According to data released by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), which is the official data source for the Sustainable Development Goal on education:

“Almost one-third of young teens worldwide have recently experienced bullying. The new data show that bullying affects children everywhere, across all regions and countries of different income levels. They were collected from in-school surveys that track the physical and emotional health of youth. The Global School Health Survey (GSHS) focuses on children aged 13 to 17 years in low-income regions. Similarly, the Health Behavior in School-Age Children (HBSC) targets young people aged 11 to 15 years in 42 countries, primarily in Europe and North America. Bullying refers to violence between peers/students which is characterised as ‘intentional and aggressive behavior occurring repeatedly where there is a real or perceived power imbalance’.”


As you can see, the numbers, statistics and all the mumble jumble on the matter speak clearly and bullying has gotten worse over the years. But actually, it is a tale as old as time: bullying has been around for longer than some of us have been alive, the only difference now, is that people are finally starting to notice.


Some say that, instead of teaching children how to deal with bullies, we should be teaching them not to become bullies in the first place, and I fully agree. There’s just one problem: as with any other evil in this world, eradicating it will take massive amounts of effort and a lot of time, so teaching children how to face the problem in the meantime doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.


Being in direct contact with the school world and witnessing the effects that bullying can have firsthand, I knew I needed to do something. This is why, pairing my love for children and their well-being with my experience, I wrote a short story that entertains kids while also teaching them how to deal with bullies and how to behave if they are a victim of bullying. Among the many anti-bullying strategies that most schools put in place, in the book I chose to focus on the one I believe to be the most effective to fight off the bullies, while also making the victim feel more protected: Speaking up.


According to statistics, more than half of bullied students do not tell anyone. The reason behind this silence can change from child to child, but it is a common denominator among many victims, who find themselves suffering in silence. Regardless of the reason, it is crucial to teach children (the younger they are, the better) that telling someone and saying what's going on is extremely important: whether it is a friend, a teacher or a relative, talking about it can really make a huge difference. This is exactly what my book, "Cricket Becomes Knight", tries to focus on: 


In this story, the helpless little Cricket plays the role of the bullied boy; Lion, an angry and hateful lion, is the bully; the rest of the animals in the story, on the other hand, take on the role of those friends, teachers, or relatives that a bullied victim should turn to and ask help to.

The story begins with Lion who violently confronts Cricket, with the sole purpose of imposing his force against him, scaring and threatening him. After a moment of uncertainty and fear, Cricket makes the right choice and decides to ask for help from others. In this case, the other animals of the animal kingdom.


This tale has a happy ending, but only thanks to the help Cricket received from the other animals, who not only helped him stand up to Lion (his bully), but also helped him teach Lion a lesson and made him understand that bullying is a very despicable thing to do. Apart from teaching children how to behave in the face of bullying, the story also touches upon one of the main causes of it, and how it can and should actually be a further reason to love and appreciate one another: our differences. Remember,


“No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is.”


The book was completely illustrated by some of my own little students, and it is available for purchase on Amazon through the following links:


https://amzn.to/33QjVcr (ITALY)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DSX3JSL (USA)  

The book is in ENGLISH LANGUAGE even if Amazon has written Italian version


Hope that you and your children enjoy it, and learn something from it!




Blog

BREAKFAST WITH HANS ASPERGER

Pubblicato il 01 dicembre 2019 alle 14.15


 

Ogni giorno è una nuova avventura nella scuola primaria, poco a poco si va svelando il meraviglioso mistero dei nostri nuovi piccoli alunni che potrebbero avere nelle loro vene le, abilità per diventare i nuovi Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, Neil Amstrong o Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart. E per questo motivo che noi come maestri, principalmente delle classe prime, è fondamentale e le nostre abilità e competenze devono essere orientate i primi giorni di scuola a guidare in forma adeguata i nostri nuovi studenti.

Al giorno d’oggi non bastano anni di esperienza come docenti di scuola primaria. La nostra sfida va oltre dato che gli alunni non devono soltanto imparare competenze matematiche, di science, ecc. Devono anche sapere ascoltare, seguire una lezione seduti e in silenzio per più di quindici minuti, seguire le regole e trovare la giusta concentrazione per imparare le prime lettere dell’alfabeto, i numeri, le favole di tutta la vita, imparare nuove cose per affrontare le esigenze del mondo globale che ci circonda. Per questo motivo la concentrazione dei bambini diventa un MUST per la gestione di tante informazioni dentro il loro cervello. Questo mondo globale è carico di possibilità, creatività e nuovi amici, anche imaginari, ma molto più impegnativo che la scuola primaria di una volta. ARE  CHILDREN READY?

ARE WE TEACHERS READY per la primaria di oggi?

Noi docenti al giorno d’oggi trascorriamo molto tempo a pensare come approcciare i bisogni speciali dentro l’aula, preparare una di science, matematica o italiano diventa interessante e molto gratificante ma impegnativo dato che dobbiamo preparare due o tre versioni dello stesso argomento. Se ti chiedi il perche? Abbiamo scoperto che abbiamo bambini con bisogni speciali e hanno la necessità di imparare in modo particolare. Are we ready ?? per fare colazione con Hans Asperguer, pranzare con Oswald Berkham e cenare Sir George Still?? Qualche volta passo le intere domeniche con loro. PERCHE? Le trovo interessanti e le sue conversazioni mi servono a trovare UNA RISPOSTA non LA RISPOSTA, dato che l’approccio agli studenti di quella piccola età diventa un arcobaleno di possibilità di scelte e bisogna usare tutti i suoi colori.

Ogni bambino vede il colore rosso da una diversa prospettiva. ARE WE READY per entrare nel loro mondo e guardare con i loro occhi. Se non sei ancora pronto… inizia a prepararti IERI perché la sfida è bella ma impegnativa. E un incredibile viaggio in cui noi dobbiamo essere il capitano della barca e dobbiamo saper come pilotarla. Barca che nella tempesta e nella calma deve tirare tutti dentro per raggiungere lo stesso obiettivo anche se in diversi livelli.

Finalmente miei carissimi colleghi, mantenete una tazza di tè caldo vicino sulla cattedra per trovare la calma in questa montagna russa affascinante che è la scuola primaria! Organizza il caos in modo che gli alunni si divertano ma riescano a trovare il suo posto nel gruppo a prescindere della specialità!

 


 

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