This topic is an important component of Respectful Relationships teaching because research shows that children become aware of gender norms at an early age and as they learn about gender they may also begin to enact sexist values, beliefs and attitudes such as insisting that some games are for boys and some for girls. This means it is important to commence work on building positive gender relationships within these early years.
Classroom activities can be used to help children explore gender identity, challenge stereotypes and to learn to value and show respect for diversity and difference. We can examine gender stereotypes through literature and we can model respect for everyone, regardless of their differences or gender.
People who show respect for others have self belief and they give others the opportunity to have self belief.
Kites have a long history in Japan, where they’ve been used for thousands of years.
Row of colorful carp kites flying in the breeze
One special Japanese kite is the koinobori or carp kite. A carp is a fish, and the koinobori kite represents a colorful, ornamental freshwater carp called a koi. The flag is shaped like a fish with its open mouth attached to a pole and its tail fluttering free in the wind. The koi is revered in Japanese culture, where it’s regarded as a symbol of strength, energy, and courage and you’re likely to see them on display swimming in ponds in Japanese gardens. You may wonder how a fish can represent courage. Well, koi are vigorous and powerful. They can swim upstream in rivers, which isn’t east to do because it requires the fish to fight the current.
Honesty is not just about telling the truth, it’s about living your life in a genuine and authentic way. It’s about being down to earth and without pretense. Being honest also means being ethical and acting with integrity.
I treat everyone equally. I give everyone a fair chance.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
How to behave in a fair way:
Tell the truth.
Play by the rules.
Think about how your actions will affect others.
Listen to people with an open mind.
Don’t blame others for your mistakes.
Don’t take advantage of other people.
Don’t play favourites.
I really enjoyed watching this animation about treating every equally.
Helping students to learn a range of positive coping skills will allow them to develop and practise
these skills and enable them to cope with future changes and challenges.
Positive self-talk is a key strategy for coping with negative thoughts, emotions, and events. Resilience research shows that use of positive self-talk is associated with greater persistence in the face of challenge, whereas negative self-talk is associated with higher levels of distress, depression and anxiety. Positive self-talk can be learnt or strengthened through practise.
“The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires is a great example of a person using positive self talk to persist in the face of challenge. Have a look at this stop motion animation put together by Elmwood School in Ottawa (Canada).
Friendship means being a good friend to others and understanding that your friends have thoughts and feelings.
Within the VIA Character Strengths this is listed as “Social Intelligence” and falls under the category of humanity; strengths that manifest in caring relationship with others. Social awareness is about what we sense about others and what we do with our awareness.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a heartwarming book that encourages positive behaviour by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show us how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by “filling buckets.”
There are many books that emphasise the concept of friendship. Which one is your favourite?
At Barwon Heads PS we value Mindfulness, so much so that one of the major components of our Pos Ed model is Mindfulness. Today we spoke to our staff about the benefits of mindfulness. We began with a short meditation. We then shared the results of an analysis of 15 studies which measured the impact of meditation in schools. (Waters et al 2015).
Students who are taught meditation at school reported higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and take better care of their health as well as experiencing reduced anxiety, stress and depression. This is compared to before the meditation programs and compared to peers who were not taught meditation.
The review also showed that meditation helps the social life of students by leading to increases in pro-social behaviour (like helping others) and decreases in anti-social behaviour (like anger and disobedience).
Finally, meditation was found to improve a host of academic and learning skills in students. These included faster information processing, greater focus, more effective working memory, more creativity and cognitive flexibility.
This short film shows how practicing Mindfulness impacts on the brain.
We use websites and apps such as Class Dojo, Go Noodle and Smiling Minds in the classroom and personally, we use Buddify, Insight Timer and Headspace to name a few. YouTube also has a multitude of meditations.