We're all connected in the world. Children may sometimes get lost in the shuffle, but many kids want
to play a part in the big picture and make a difference.
Safe school environment Since social skills are learned behaviors, it's important for school administrators and teachers to model positive behavior. Teachable Moment gives teachers tools and ideas on how to promote a positive and respectful school setting. Creating a school environment where there is zero tolerance for anti-social behaviors such as bullying is critical to helping kids feel both safe and empowered.
Volunteering One of the most effective ways to demonstrate the importance of social responsibility is through community service. Even young children can collect blankets for individuals in a shelter or make artwork for residents of assisted living centers. By involving kids in the process of selecting a charity and deciding how to help, children can see the result of their efforts and learn about empathy and helping others.
Invite a former Peace Corps volunteer into the classroom to talk about living in another culture, learning another language and experiencing another perspective. Or, connect students with a current volunteer via email and snail mail. Contact the Peace Corps.
Basic skills Learn the art of listening. With cell phones ringing, text messages popping up and a myriad of gadgets and games vying for our attention, actual conversations have become lost arts. Stay in the moment with children and show them that they're more important than a ringing cell phone or text message. If they learn the importance of listening now, they'll carry it into the future and, with any luck, won't turn into "that guy" chatting on his cell while paying for his latte. Practice positive conflict resolution. Role playing and rehearsing difficult situations can provide valuable learning opportunities for all students. By creating a safe environment and the ability to test their negotiation and conflict-resolution skills, students can work problems out in the real world without resorting to negative behavior.