The United States presidential election has certainly heated up in the last month, and it doesn’t seem to be calming down any time soon. Chances are, the current political climate will still be as hot a topic in August as it is now. Considering how inflammatory rhetoric can seep into classrooms, we thought it best to take a moment to prepare for potentially difficult conversations with students without taking advantage of young minds’ malleability to leverage personal political opinions.
Last issue, we discussed public service announcements (PSAs) that were ineffective by modern standards for various reasons, including unclear calls-to-action and inaccurate scare tactics that irreverent teenagers were more likely to mock than to heed. Therefore, we thought we’d take some time in this issue to talk about the ways in which schools can help their student body achieve change.
Children are smarter and more intuitive than many adults give them credit for. They know when they’re being sold to, no matter the window dressing on it. Therefore, advertising campaigns to help young people avoid addictive substances have occasionally… shot wide of the mark. This issue, enjoy a countdown of some of the most hilariously incompetent efforts to educate our children on the dangers of drugs.
We’ve talked about digital harassment in the past, but recent events have reminded us that physical bullying is still alive and well. On April 21, a 16-year-old lost her life after a fight (allegedly over a boy) in the girls’ bathroom of a public school in Wilmington, Delaware. Rev. Sandra Ben of Pray Ground Community Church told the Delaware News Journal, “We know [violence] is happening in the streets. But now we are talking about violence happening in a place that normally should be a safe haven.”
Parents choose to send their children to your school, in part because they consider your community safer than the public alternatives. Still, bullying can occur anytime, anywhere—and occasionally, despite your best efforts to educate. (In a moment of cruel irony, this incident occurred in the middle of the school’s anti-bullying campaign season). So this month, let’s talk about the effective ways in which you can keep your school a predictive and supportive space for every student.
Student assemblies change students’ lives—or they can be something akin to a waking nightmare. Finding the right “educational performers” or motivational speakers that do a wonderful job of inspiring and teaching your students within your budget and who mesh with your school’s mission can be a trial, though. This month, we’ve listed the five steps that should lead you to host the transformational student assemblies that will become wonderful memories your students treasure long after they leave your school.
Our email-based, position-specific e-Lists generate lively conversation year-round, but the Division Head e-List has been especially insightful lately. In addition to recommendations on specific curriculum, technology, and policy-related questions, there are many words of wisdom to be shared from listening in to the conversations of your fellow Division Heads.
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