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!




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THE MAGIC OF A CIRCLE

Pubblicato il 25 febbraio 2020 alle 17.00

CIRCLES JUST CIRCLES

CIRCLES in architettura, CIRCLES nel nostro cereale, CIRCLES nella natura, CIRCLES sociali, CIRCLES nel cielo, CIRCLES EVERYWHERE. Cerchi meravigliosi che quando vengono formati da essere umani, che grazie alla sua struttura, ci permettono di stare davanti, di lato, ma MAI dietro di nessuno.

Il cerchio è nato prima che lo potessimo immaginare. Fermiamoci un po' e apriamo la nostra finestra mentale. Cosa vediamo? Probabilmente la maestosità del SOLE e la LUNA, il tempo che passa in un grande e rotondo OROLOGIO o soltanto un gruppo di persone che si prendono per mano e formano un cerchio.

IL CIRCLE TIME

Oggi però vorrei parlarvi dell’importanza ei benefici del “CIRCLE TIME”. Un momento magico in cui tutti partecipanti, anche quello che lo dirige, si mettono in un cerchio perfetto in piedi oppure seduti. Esso rappresenta un momento di parità, tutti riescono a vedersi in faccia e può esprimere emozioni liberamente. E una strategia eccellente per iniziare una mattina piena d’attività, come “WARM UP”, un ottimo modo per approfondire la conoscenza reciproca tra i partecipanti, crea integrazione e valorizza ogni singolo partecipanti.

BENEFICI

Il “CIRCLE TIME” viene utilizzato per diversi scopi e funzionalità. I benefici che questa metodologia ci sa sono:

1. Favorisce l’inclusione, integrazione e la conoscenza reciproca.

2. Migliora l’ascolto in un clima sereno

3. Serve per far emergere le diverse personalità dei partecipanti, in modo di conoscerli un po' di più.

4. Facilita la discussione. Ogni partecipante, a turni, può esprimersi e tutti gli altri ascoltano.

5. I partecipanti sviluppano un senso di appartenenza senza perdere la loro individualità.

6. Nessuno è ultimo oppure primo dentro del “CIRCLE TIME” sono tutti nello stesso piano. Per ciò attenua la paura del giudizio degli altri.

7. Rafforza la autostima e la autodisciplina.

 

COORDINATORE DELLA DINAMICA

 

Come tutta metodologia, attività o dinamica di gruppo, ci deve essere una persona che coordina. Dentro il salone di classe ad esempio è la maestra. Ma se ci troviamo in altri ambienti come una azienda, il ruolo di coordinatore può essere svolto per la persona che ha proposto la dinamica (capo, manager, ecc.).

Dunque questa persona deve coordinare l’attività, stimolare alla discussione e interazione; mantenendo un clima positivo e cordiale. Inoltre, il “coordinatore” deve avere un ruolo di osservatore. Deve stare attento adeguato sviluppo della dinamica dii gruppo, possibili disagi ed è responsabile di coinvolgere a tutti anche i più timidi. Ha , inoltre , il lavoro di monitorare la tempistica per non eccedere il tempo, che può variare dai venti ai sessanta minuti.

 

MAGIA

A parte di essere un’ottima metodologia il “CIRCLE TIME” è “MAGICO”. Attraverso di esso si crea un legame positivo tra i partecipanti dato che è un momento speciale in cui tutti condividono emozioni, canzoni, storie, anche un semplice sorriso. Si creano delle memorie sensoriali, memorie che dureranno nel tempo perchè una delle poche regole che ci sono nel “MAGIC CIRCLE” e divertirsi!

Finalmente ecco qui alcuni consigli per far del tuo “CIRCLE TIME” magico e di successo.

1. Scegli un modo particolare per invitare ai bambini a partecipare al Circle time. Una canzone, battere le mani oppure suonare un istrumento musicale.

2. Mantiene il Circle in movimento. Partecipanti possono muoversi in torno, saltare, ecc.

3. Usa il Circle per discutere il modo di come affrontare un problema oppure una situazione nuova, in cui ognuno dare la loro opinione.

 

KEEP THE CIRCLE MOVING!

 

 

 

 

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