Building a Culture of Kindness

Behaviour Management, the Green School Way

All children have the right to a safe, effective and overall, happy learning environment. Just like us (adults) some days will be better than others and happiness is never a permanent state – we all strive to have many more good days then less-good days and wish for our students to have plenty of happy moments sprinkled throughout their days.

Feeling secure is central to achieving this ideal. As a School and as a community of many (grown-ups and children), we work through social and emotional, behaviour management and IRespect values programs to foster an overall climate or culture, within which children feel welcome and secure. This is the goal. We are all human, and we are all ‘works in progress’ and sometimes behavioural issues emerge that require specific management.

Green School has policies that reflect our philosophy on behaviour management (including bullying type behaviours). This approach is broad, inclusive and along with specific programs and the modeling of respectful and kind behaviour by the adults in the community, reflects a belief that the climate and culture of the School is the number one mitigator against unkind or bullying behaviour (generally defined as ongoing and repeated misuse of power).

Narrow approaches to anti-bullying in Schools may prove marginally effective or worse. Schools must do a lot more than having anti-bullying posters in their canteens and weekly conversations or lessons on bullying behaviour. Behaviour can get sophisticated and difficult to detect, can spill over outside of School and of course, cyber bullying can occur. Countering this type of behaviour requires a whole of community, cultural approach.

Incidents will occur and they must be responded to quickly, carefully and confidentially. No school is free of unkind behaviour or even bullying. The sign of a healthy school culture sees incidents worked through, taking all the complexities, relationships and individuals involved into account. Where appropriate, a mending fences approach is applied bringing students together to learn from these experiences and how they impact on all involved and on the community.   Responses must be age appropriate and our teacher’s relationship with their students and skill as an educator, is central to an effective response. A process of support and escalation can be called upon and is from time to time. So too, is support from parents.

We all have a part to play and while we look to our older students to be role models, we know they too, will have moments when they are not at their best. This does not excuse poor behaviour and does not mean that there are not consequences. But rather reflects the messy, often unpredictable and occasional poor judgement of young adults.

If you would like to view the relevant School policies on Behaviour Management or Code of Community Conduct, please check the Parent Blog HERE. As always, we remain happy to engage in a discussion on this at the next GSPA meeting or please make contact with your classroom/homeroom teacher in relation to any specific issues with your child.

Culture is the mitigating force and kindness is the antidote.

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