From one of our +Teachers:
My First Graders became aware of +Works at the beginning of the school year. After hearing your presentation, I knew +Works would play an important role in my classroom.
As I established classroom rules and procedures, I told the children that I would also be teaching them how to be an “up-stander.” We acted out common school situations and came up with good ideas to help deal with hurtful words.
I played the +Car video where young football players were criticizing a teammate. Since most of our boys were on football teams, this was the perfect time of year to show the video! They liked the way the mother defended the boys even though he wasn’t in the car! I used her terminology, “That’s not okay,” and encouraged the students to use it whenever they heard or saw someone being hurt by words.
“Up-standing” was slow to catch on. It was much easier for the children to defend themselves than to come to a friend’s rescue. As we continued to role-play, I saw a change in some of the stronger personalities in the class. Apparently, on the playground, certain children were using “that’s not okay” to help their friends in hurtful situations. This let the stronger personalities understand that they couldn’t continue their hurtful behavior and not feel pressure from their classmates.
I’m really not surprised that +Works has taken a hold of my class. They show me how kind and empathetic they are every day. They are proud to walk around school wearing their +Works stickers. I am tremendously pleased with my beautiful class of “up-standers!” They know how empowering it is to say “that’s not okay.”