Category Archives: Quality of Life

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Sat. June 3, 1-5, List Update Class, Ashland; & Birds & Decision Making!

Hello everyone.  On Sat. June 3, from 1-5, you are invited to bring your List for some valuable personal  time to update your List.  We will be in the Guanajuato Room downstairs at the Ashland Library.  The fee is by donation, and we look forward to seeing you!

When I sat down to write this article, I began writing about decision making, as friend had recently asked me about how to use their Lists in that way.  So, the second half this post is about decision making with your List. What happened next, however, was very interesting.

For the Birds!

Driving along Highway 66, suddenly a blue jay landed in front of my car, and there was just no way to avoid it: “Thunk,” and the blue jay was gone.  Two days later, the same thing happened with a sparrow.  –Not to mention a beautiful peacock that arrived on our doorstep, “out of the blue,” about four weeks ago, and sandpipers arrived in our yard just yesterday, when we usually only see them on the Coast.  The reason for all these events is still unclear to me; however, when such “coincidences” happen, especially 3 times or more, you don’t need to know the exact reasons why, you just need to act.  So, here is a new List wording that I am adding to my List.

“…having birds safe and secure at all times….”

In asking why this might be happening, a good friend told me that often birds are very good environmental indicators.  Perhaps this is the case.  Below is a link to an article explaining this situation.  Below that is a link to relevant environmental wordings that I have shared previously on my website.

http://www.environmentalscience.org/birds-environmental-indicators

http://therealitydynamicslist.com/better-world/healing-water-environment-upcoming-classes/

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These images of birds are actually from our trip to Hawaii, and the Hilo’s Panaewa Zoo, the only Rain Forest Zoo in the US: a wonderful place to visit!

https://www.hawaii.com/big-island/attractions/go-to-the-zoo-in-a-rainforest/)

And Now, Helpful Hints about Decision Making

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One of the great things about the List is that you can use it to help you make decisions, large and small.  I thought I’d take some time to review how this works with the List, and perhaps you can use some of these wordings and techniques during our List Update Class or on your own.

The time-honoured wording to help with decision making is the following:

“…making the best possible decisions and actions for me….”

Call me a grammar stickler, but over the years, I have personally changed this wording to two separate wordings, shown below:

“…making the best possible decision for me….”

“…taking the best possible actions for me….”

(Grammatically speaking, the verb “making” doesn’t work properly with verb and object “taking actions.”)

Also, while we sometimes combine concepts in a List statement, the List works best when wordings are kept simple, containing only one main idea, and when wordings are clear and concise so that even a young child can understand them.

Another way to use the List to help make decision, besides having the general statements above, is to address your situations specifically.

First of all, you can address the situation a bit more specifically than above, but also generally.  For example, say you want to move.  You know you want a new place to live, and you have several options.

First of all, you should have the statement on your List,

“…living in the best possible location for me….”

Next, if you need to sell your home before you move, you would want to add this statement:

“…knowing that I sell my home at ___________(address) for the highest best possible price for me….”  (This wording has been very successful for List Alumni.)

Also,

“…owning the best possible home for me, for the lowest, best possible price for me, fulfilling my wants, needs and desires….”

Then, as you begin your search, when trying to decide between two specific items, you can put both items on your List, and then see which flows more easily into your life.

For example,

 “I am owning the property at _______________(address 1)….”  And,

“I am owning the property at _______________(address 2)….”

 

Once these two statements are on your List, watch what comes in to you.  If people are talking with you or approaching you about one alternative over the other, this is most likely the best direction for you: this, especially if it happens more than once, and ideally three times.  (This three time factor is also the reason why I felt moved to add wordings to my List about bird safety.)

You may also need to take actions towards these decisions.  Most likely, one will flow, and one will not.

Lastly, trust your feelings.  If the direction you are going in is uncomfortable, it is very likely not be the one for you.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you on the 3rd of June!  Remember, too, to refer your friends to our next List Class, being held on Nov. 4th and 5th.

Yours gratefully,

Marnie Hancock

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Peace, & As Above, So Below: Classes Nov. 12, 19 & 20

Peace, & As Above, So Below: Classes Nov. 12, 19 & 20

Hello Everyone:

November is here, and the List theme of this month is Peace: hard to believe, with the turmoil of the US Election, soon to be determined. What better theme than peace though, for before, during and after this election.

One popular saying is that peace always begins within, and that is what I would like to talk about in this article, titled, “As Above, So Below.”

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To me, there is no better way to align oneself with higher consciousness than to complete and maintain one’s own List. A bit of review here, but this is because doing so removes limiting beliefs in the subconscious mind, which have been keeping us from fulfilling our own life plan.  Our life plan is stored in our higher consciousness, and our guides and angels have been trying to help us fulfill our life plan throughout our lifetime.  Contrary to popular belief, though, limiting beliefs in the subconscious can block the fulfillment of our life plan, and also block the special, beneficial work that our loved ones on the other side are trying to do for us.  The List removes those limiting beliefs, and creates a much clearer path for our guides and angels to help us fulfill our life plan.  Thus we experience the joy that results.  That is key here.  When we figure out what our life plan is and live it, we experience much more joy (and thus, more peace.)

 “Peaceful” List Wordings

An additional way to achieve even more peace in your life is to have very specific wordings on your List about that quality.  Here are classic List wording about inner peace from Jann Timmreck’s earlier years:

 “…experiencing inner peace, feeling physically relaxed and comfortable, knowing I function from my highest consciousness, for my benefit and the benefit of others, spontaneously and appropriately in any situation…”

“knowing that peace, harmony and positive, loving and beneficial energies are expressed by and through all living beings, for the mutual benefit of all….”

“…having awareness of universal truths, wisdom and knowledge, using this information with conscious awareness, spontaneously and appropriately, for myself and others….”

BTW, Need a Reading from Higher Consciousness?

Here is an enjoyable wording that I first used on my List, I believe, in 1986.

“…a master psychic using my talents and abilities wisely when I choose for my benefit and the benefit of others….”

Sound Peace Bookstore here in Ashland has a directory of local psychics, and they are doing short introductory videos for free.  Here is a link to my first video with them, unrehearsed as it is!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PqxTnbupc&feature=youtu.be

While we can connect to higher consciousness ourselves, aided by the fact that we have our Lists, listening to messages from higher consciousness can sometimes take practice.  I am so grateful for having learned many intuitive tools from Jann and Joe Timmreck, and I would be happy to share your own personalized insights from higher consciousness.  Give me a call!

Michael Meade, The Mosaic Foundation, & Your Own Personal Genius

Lastly, I would like to share an interesting insight and message from Michael Meade, who came to Ashland recently to speak at SOU, sponsored by The Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library.  He is a popular author and speaker, and he is the founder of the Mosaic Foundation out of Seattle.

His inspirational message was this.  There has always been conflict and change; whatever institution takes form will always have influences arise to take it apart.  He believes that it is our genius, however, that ultimately informs us and makes these institutions evolve into something better and new.  Such was his view of our current government and election situations.  He also said that we are all looking for our genius, and we really need to listen and figure out what we really want to do in this world.  He said that it is our unique genius and the insights we find from this that will inform and help us create our new society and paradigm.

For me this boiled down to connecting with higher consciousness and the insights and joys that lie within it for us, our life plan and as he termed it, and finding our own personal genius, or our own personal, “golden” gifts.

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One of his main insights too, from his own personal genius so to speak, was that he saw that mentorship in our society needs to be brought back and promoted much, much more.  He feels that for example rather than marginalizing our elders, promoting their connection to our youth was really important, and he believed that their mentorship would lead to a much healthier and better functioning society today.  I have often had this thought too, about many of our institutions, and I believe he is correct.

Here are links to the full version of his talk and his books and foundation if you would like to check them out.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/michaelmeade

https://www.mosaicvoices.org/

Mentorship & The List

Let us remember how important mentorship is, in its many forms, and help to share what we have learned with others.  For ourselves, as List Alumni, let’s bring our List and a friend to the Talent Library on Sat., Nov. 12, from 10-12, and lets share one of the things that we know creates a much better and more peaceful life and world, The List aka Reality Dynamics.  The List Class follows the next weekend, Sat. and Sun., Nov. 19 and 20, from 10-4 both days.  The Info. Talk and Update Class are free, and the fee for the List Class pre-registered is $150.00.

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To Peace, The List, Mentorship and Higher Consciousness!

Cheers, & yours gratefully,

Marnie Hancock.

Vernal Falls Top Yosemite June 2016 For Web

Summer Travels In Review: Pics, News & Wordings

This summer has started off with lots of fun travel for Jack and I, as we celebrate our (two!) anniversaries.

I thought I’d share some beautiful photos from our travels, and some List wordings that could help with your holidays.

The featured image from this article is of Vernal Falls, in Yosemite National Park.  Believe it or not, we hiked up to the top of the falls off in the distance, on the Mist trail.

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Here are the falls, again, from the top and in full view.

Vernal Falls Top Yosemite June 2016 For Web

Jack also showed me a new discovery at the park, hiking along the Toulumne River, behind the Toulumne Lava dome.

Toulumne River Falls Yosemite June 2016 For Web

I used the List wording for this trip and an earlier trip to Upstate New York, and the results were wonderful.

“…having the best possible holiday to, from and in______________________, from approximately __________ __________to approximately ______________________, fulfilling my wants, needs and desires, economically, easily, enjoyably and comfortably, and….”

Are we trying to chase away old age?  Yes!  We want to fit it all in while we still can.  (Cancel, cancel, cancel.)  I think I might need to do a Good/Bad on aging!

Also, we love being out in nature, hiking and enjoying its healing, theta energies.  I think I may have shared this List wording with you before, but it is worth repeating:

“…enjoying experiencing the auditory, visual and kinesthetic delights of nature, fulfilling my wants, needs and desires….”

Earlier this summer, we were with rafting the Rogue River.  Thank goodness Jack forgave me for hitting him across the head with a paddle, twice.  That trip, I didn’t use my List: perhaps I should have!

Rafting the Rogue June 2016 For Web

Not all events have been fun and joy, however, as not long ago we lost our beloved cat, Choochie.  He was 19, and so his passing was expected: but we soon needed the following wording on our Lists, to help us get over the loss.

“…easy and comfortably accepting the most recent transition of the being I know as….”

A long planned 6 hour jet boat trip up the Rogue River was also a good distraction.  I couldn’t take too many pictures, because of the need to hold on in the rapids and during the “doughnuts!”  Here is a link to Jerry’s Jet Boat Trips website in Gold Beach Oregon.  Scroll down the page a bit and watch the included video, and you can share in the great experience!

Home

I hope you have a wonderful summer, filled with fun, relaxation and the “auditory, visual and kinesthetic delights of nature.”

If the wordings and photos have inspired you to take out your List, bravo!  And if you are in the area of Talent, Oregon, on July 15th, we would love to see you.  Summer is a great time to take out your List and see what’s there, what needs to be added or taken away, and even to do a complete overhaul.

July 15 List Update Class: Changes in Time & Location

The venue and time have changed for the List Update Class on July 15, and we are now gathering 12 – 5 pm at the Talent Library.  The address is 101 Home Street, Talent, OR.  Please RSVP if you are planning to attend, as space is limited.  Also, there is no food or drink allowed in the room, so either have an early lunch, or take a break during our gathering, and head out to one of the local enjoyable Talent restaurants.

If you are not in the area and you would like some help by phone, please contact me.

Happy Summer Travels!

Marnie Hancock

Peer Mediation Girls

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Conclusion, Peer Mediation, Part 4

Part 4.  Peer Mediation: The Anti-Bullying Strategy of the Future

Laureen Harper, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife, recently named Peer Mediation as the Canadian Anti-Bullying Strategy of the future.  She presented this strategy after an inquiry into preventing Bullying and Cyber Bullying in Canada, and thus preventing teen suicides.

So, Just what is Peer Mediation?

Just what is Peer Mediation, and how does it work?  I first encountered Peer Mediation about six years ago, when I was a Teacher On Call in the first District I ever worked for.  One lunch hour, I was teaching at the same school of the very first Principal to implement an Anti-Bullying Program in my District, 25 years ago.  You will remember from Article 1, 25 years ago I went to this Principal to get the first Anti-Bullying Program, with the goal to eliminate Bullying in my classroom.  Unfortunately, my school and many others did not choose to implement this program.  But this particular Principal never stopped in his drive to eliminate Bullying.  Not only was he the first Principal to implement Anti-Bullying in our school district, but he was also one of the first Principals to implement Peer Mediation.

Arriving at his school at lunch hour, unbeknownst to him, I saw how his Peer Mediation program worked first hand.  I arrived when his students were still outside, playing out on the playground.  (You will remember in Article 1 that the playground is often where Bullying occurs.)

As I approached the school’s entrance, I noticed two or three students who were wearing brightly colored blue and black jackets.  I realized later that this identified them as the Peer Mediators, and the Problem Solvers.  I remember being simply amazed when I observed two other younger children run up to them, very agitated and upset.  When these children found their Peer Mediators, they quickly told them about a problem they’d had with another student, who had been Bullying them on the playground.

To my amazement, these mediators listened calmly and carefully, valuing and even clarifying what the children said.  I was astonished at their level of maturity and skill, with being so young.  (I think these children were in about Grade 5.  Grades 5-7 intermediate students are the ones chosen to be Peer Mediators.)

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Coming out of nowhere, I suddenly noticed the school Principal, and he stood quietly watching in the background.  The mediators soon noticed him too, and they turned and began to tell him about what had happened.  He stopped them, gave them a quick word of encouragement, and said, “You know what to do!  Go on, go and find him!”  So off they went, with renewed confidence and ease, to find the “Bully,” and then to problem solve with all of the children involved.  All in a quick instant, a problem that at 1:00 pm would have taken the classroom teacher 10-15 minutes of teaching time to solve, had already been to be taken care of.

Problem Solving Strategies, a Part of Peer Mediation

I don’t know what exactly happened next, because I had to sign in for work.  But I believe that these children had already been trained in many of the Problem Solving Strategies that I discussed in Part Three of this Article.  Summarized here, they are: respectfully discussing feelings and reactions; calmly getting to the truth of what happened; gently encouraging empathy; and finally sharing appropriate apologies.

Rules, Consequences and Rewards Too!

I am fairly sure that this school would also have had a well-established set of Rules, Consequences and Rewards, which the Peer Mediators and the whole school would have known about.  Ultimately, if the incident were really serious and frequent, I’m sure the Principal himself would have been talking with the child who had Bullied, and if necessary, beyond an apology, more serious consequences would have been applied.

Add Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring

Subtly, during Peer Mediation, the powerful tools of Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring are also at work.  In Part 2 of this Article, I described the wonderful work of another very special School Professional, a School Counselor at the great school I was working at this Spring.  This Counselor had amazing successes when through the School’s Student Council he implemented the Anti-Bullying Program of Pink Shirt Day.  His success rate implementing Student’s Council Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring was simply amazing.  I remember I was astonished that on Monday’s Pink Shirt Day everyone in my classroom arrived wearing pink; and almost every one of my students wore a Pink T-Shirt.

A School Counselor on Peer Mediation

Speaking about this Counselor, just before I left this placement, I spoke briefly with him about Peer Mediation.  I asked him if he’d heard about Peer Mediation before, and he said he had.  He told me that there was a school in his district using Peer Mediation, and it was working very well for that school.  We talked about the upcoming layoffs of Special Education Assistants at his school, who were the lunch and recess time supervisors there.  We concluded that his school would benefit greatly from implementing a Peer Mediation Program, and he was very interested in facilitating this.

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Sadly, I heard that this coming year, due to even more cutbacks in our government’s education funding, this Counselor’s position had been completely eliminated.  –Ah..; and I thought it was Bullying we were trying to eliminate?  Need I say more?  Sigh.  Well, yes, I think I do.

Marnie’s Rant, On Government Cutbacks

This spring, at the wonderful school I taught at, I attended numerous recess and lunch hour meetings about how the School and the District were going to implement this new round of government cutbacks.  I was very sadly reminded of the last years of my on-contract teaching days.

In the late 90’s, we as teachers were finally able to celebrate having obtained Class Size, Class Composition and Preparation Time language in our Teacher contracts.  The next year though, suddenly the Provincial Government came in and completely stripped our contracts of this language and more.  Suddenly, we felt that the much more stable and positive learning environment that we’d achieved, for both ourselves and our students, had been lost.

As long as I can remember, government funding to School Districts has been decreasing almost every year.  In 1985, when I first started teaching French Immersion Kindergarten, I actually had an assistant who made teaching materials for me, several hours a week.  That was so great, because back then, there were no French materials to buy.  (Teachers, by the way, buy most of their own resources.)  But the next year, and almost every other year afterward, reductions in support time of various kinds occurred.  Over the years, Resources Teachers such as this wonderful Counselor, had their time reduced and reduced, because they did not enroll a classroom, and they were not deemed essential.

I remember the final year of my on-contract teaching days, during the 1999/2000 school year, when my Learning Resource Teacher announced that she was not going to be coming to my classroom anymore.  No more time for her to take that small group of children who needed extra help to learn to read and write.  (Forget about time for Math: that had been gone a long time ago.)  No more time for her to assess their needs, and then to work with myself and parents to design a program that would work for them.  No more time for her to model for me new and old teaching strategies, and to help me become a better teacher: because usually Resource Teachers are our Master Teachers, and their input is highly valuable.

To clarify, because Resource Teachers do not enroll a classroom, they are not encumbered by the need to do report cards five times a year, nor for organizing programming for 25-30 children.  They have time to research and develop new programs.  Too, they have often been very successful teachers, who have taught for a long time, and then who have gone back to university to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education.  Without them, then, what does this mean, for the quality of our children’s education?  They are our mentors: and suddenly they were gone.

A Stressful Learning Environment

Too, when cutbacks are very large, such as they were this last year, District strategies are to lay off everyone first, and then they reoffer employees their jobs, but for a lesser amount of time.  Some classroom teachers have to move to another school; and Principals and staff are left with very difficult decisions to make.  Until this has been decided, however, many meetings go on at school, at recess and lunch.  As a result, much stress occurs amongst Administrators, Teachers and Resource Staff; and yet they must all continue running their schools and their classrooms.  Ultimately, I believe the students suffer from this stress also.

The Parent View

While all parents see is strikes, the need to get babysitting for their children, and a lack of report cards or after school sports, there is truly much more going on within a school that counts.  I mean, aren’t we really there too teach?  Aren’t our children really there to learn?  Where is that in this picture?

When teachers consider job action, there is really much more at stake than an after school Volleyball game.    Can your child read?  Can your child write?  Can your child perform Math activities, at their grade level or more?  Why is this no longer a concern?

Also, Is Your Child Happy at School, or is He or She being Bullied?

And, for the purposes of this Article, is your child happy at school?  Is your child well adjusted?

Or, even more specifically, at school, is your child being Bullied?

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One day, because of government cutbacks, are you going to find out that your child was Bullied, to the point of committing suicide?  And all because of a government that swore to eliminate Bullying, eliminated Counselling positions instead?  Because it is a School Counsellor who will help a child who seems unhappy.  It is a School Counsellor, who given the time, will find out what is going on, and work with parents, teachers and students to fix the problem.  It is a School Counsellor who will model compassion and concern, and find and implement the programs that will help to eliminate Bullying in our schools.

I’ll never forget the year too, again during the 1999/2000 school year, when the School Counsellor at my school told me, “I don’t have time to work with your kids Marnie.  Just put in the referral, and I’ll refer them out to another service.”  She, too, even back then, was spread between three schools.

When Teachers Strike

I know, when teachers strike, it is important programs like Anti-Bullying Programs, and important Resource Teachers such as the School Counselor and Learning Resource Teachers, and ultimately the quality of our education system as a whole, that teachers are fighting for.

By Sept. of this year, when I had posted Part 1 of my Anti-Bullying Article, I tried to contact the School Counselor that I had been writing about.   When he didn’t respond right away, I found out that that he had gone from working almost full-time at this wonderful school, to completely losing his position, to then working at this school part-time; but then he had been placed at two other schools as well.  When I sent Part 1 of this Article to him, he told me he read my article in his car, parked and taking a short break from driving between schools.  Need I ask, how effective is this?

This, I believe, is the real issue.  There is a need in our society for Anti-Bullying Programs and Special Education Resource Teachers, such as this Counsellor and my former Learning Assistance Teacher.  Yet there is simply no funding for it: and what there is, continually gets eroded.

Anti-Bullying is Moral Issue

I would like to leave some final thoughts about Anti-Bullying with the same Principal who first implemented the two very powerful Anti-Bullying Programs in my District; the first Anti-Bullying Program, “Bully Beware,” and then later, Peer Mediation.  As you will remember from Part #3, I had recently met with him at his new school district, where he was made Director of Instruction, when I went to pick up an old T4 for my records.

During our conversation, while I had heard that he was no longer involved in any type of Anti-Bullying work, he told me that he had actually not abandoned this pursuit at all.  Several years ago, he became involved in a Nation-Wide Campaign to Eliminate Bulling.  He travelled all across Canada, coordinating with the RCMP and several other key educators, teaching about what Bullying was and how to eliminate it.

He also stated that in his opinion, dealing effectively with Bullying was really a moral issue.  What he meant by this, initially I wasn’t sure.  Just like when I first met him 25 years ago, I was slightly taken aback by his unique and innovative position.  –He was always so ahead of the game.

What Did He Mean?

Upon reflection, I believe this is what he meant.  Teaching tolerance and respect is essentially, teaching morality.  For example, by addressing bullying, you are actually teaching the moral and golden rule of, “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.”

Also, I think he means that as bystanders, we all have a moral obligation, or a responsibility, to stop any type of Bullying:  whether we are teachers, principals, parents or government leaders alike.

During our conversation, he also shared that sometimes it is not easy to stand up for someone who is being Bullied.  Ultimately, he was implying that this takes courage.

Certainly implementing the new programs such as those mentioned above takes courage.  By doing so, the people involved are taking a stand against Bullying.  Certainly this principal and the teachers, administration and support staff at the wonderful school that I recently taught at, demonstrated all of these qualities; and many, many more.  I believe that we need to ask our government leaders to actually show more courage, and now to actually fund the programs that they endorse.

It’s Not Just Children Who Bully

Returning to what this Principal shared, lastly, he added that it’s not just children who Bully.  I was so surprised to hear this from a fellow colleague: but I knew it was true.  Not every school I had worked at had been as positive, forward thinking, and as inclusive as the one I taught at this spring.

At some schools, Principals simply impose their policies, rarely valuing teacher, parent and staff input.  Also, some parents can Bully school staff, if there was the slightest hint that their child is misbehaving.  Too, for whatever reason, teachers have long been the target of what seems to be unjustified Bullying by certain media and governmental groups.  Not that all teachers are completely innocent themselves!  I have sometimes for example observed teachers let Bullying comments by students go unchallenged.  Unfortunately, this allows Bullying to thrive, and this puts students at risk.

Eliminating Bullying Takes Moral Courage

It takes strong and courageous people like this Counselor and this Principal, however, to step up and make all of these Anti-Bullying strategies successful.   I only hope that those in charge, especially government leaders, begin to see how even the slightest cutbacks in education are actually eroding the success of not only our education system, but Anti-Bullying Programs today.

Ultimately, in my opinion, if we want our youth not to Bully, and we want to prevent Teen Suicides, then we must have the courage to do everything within our power to achieve this.  We must model positive, respectful, and inclusive behaviors ourselves.  This does not mean that we must be “mamby pamby.”  It is us, the adults, who are in charge!  We must remember this.  When necessary, we must be tough, “courageous,” strong, implementing consequences when necessary, and doing everything we can to uphold the values—and morals—that we want in our society.  Lastly, we must be educated.  Ultimately, we must encourage our government to spend money on developing and providing many more Anti-Bullying Resource Materials, and we must encourage them to fund Resource Teacher and Counsellor Teaching times.

Building a Strong, Safe Anti-Bullying Community

I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to work at such a stellar school this year, and for finally being able to see my desire to have effective Anti-Bullying Strategies implemented in Lower Mainland Schools.  I am so grateful for the strong leaders I have met along the way: those who helped me to develop my own Anti-Bullying strategies in my own classroom, and those who developed these programs on a school-wide level: this school’s Counselor, the special Principals; and the Learning Resource and classroom Teachers, who all taught me so much.

Ultimately, building a safe, strong Anti-Bullying Community for our youth takes time, education, special strategies, encouragement, moral courage, innovation, committment, funding, and very special, skilled, kind and courageous people like those described above.

Also, I do not believe that these strategies are just for teachers alone.  Parents and government members all need to be aware of and utilize these Anti-Bullying strategies, so that we all can bring them to bear on any type of Bullying: be it cyber, emotional or physical.

If we do this, I believe we will develop much stronger, healthier, safer and happier children.  Our children will know how to make good, healthy decisions; and as a result of our elimination of bullying, and they will not even get close to bullying others, or ever considering suicide themselves.

Peer Mediation Boys

Thank you for listening.  Here are the Website links for the Anti-Bullying Programs I have mentioned in this article.

http://www.erasebullying.ca/

http://www.bullybeware.com/

www.thesecondstep.org

For Discipline with Dignity, http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin534.shtml

http://k6educators.about.com/od/classroommanagement/a/communitycircs.htm

http://www.mslbd.org/Logical_Consequences_FDC3B.pdf

http://www.studygs.net/peermed.htm

By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed., Author, & List Trainer.

www.therealitydynamicslist.com

Marnie Hancock is available to speak to individuals and groups upon request.  If you would like to learn more about The List, AKA Reality Dynamics, the ultimate Anti-Bullying tool, please visit the website above.  If you would like to contact Marnie personally, please write to marnie@therealitydynamicslist.com.

My Strategies For Preventing Bullying Part 3

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Part 3

Anti-Bullying Programs, Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

A Four-Part Article, By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed, Author, Teacher, Consultant

Part 3.

The BC Education Ministry’s and A 25 Year Teacher’s Strategies to E.R.A.S.E. Bullying

Introduction

In Part 3 of my article about Bullying, I outline The BC Education Ministry’s and my own teaching strategies to E.R.A.S.E. Bullying.

E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education.)

Another amazing attribute of this great school was that new programs were both discussed and valued.  In one of the last Staff Meetings I attended, low and behold, the School Counselor and the Vice Principal got up to speak about the new Ministry of Education’s Anti-bullying Program, titled E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education.)

I was very excited, because I had already heard about this program’s pending arrival.  I was silently and simply amazed.  Here I was, at this wonderful school that was actually implementing Anti-Bullying Programs, and now I was about to learn all about the Ministry’s new additions to them also.

The School Counselor and Vice-Principal had just attended a district workshop introducing this new government program, and they shared what they had learned.  They shared the new government website, as well as a government booklet, which provided much education about what bullying was.  As their presentation came to an end, however, they also shared some fairly disappointing news.  While the government clearly had a stated mandate to Eliminate Bullying, they simply made referrals to resources, rather than providing a specific program.  In essence, the program did not provide any concrete, practical resources that you could pick up and teach with.  Sigh!  Back to disappointment again.

My Own Strategies to Eliminate Bullying: A Focus On Classroom Management

So, then I had to stop, and I had to ask myself, what strategies had I used in my own classroom, learned over 25 years, to prevent and eliminate bullying?  While Anti-Bullying Programs were never implemented at some of my earlier schools, personally and professionally, I never gave up on eliminating bullying in my classroom.

Essentially, I continued to research and implement many different Classroom Management Strategies, and I found that these strategies actually transferred very well into an effective Anti-Bullying Program.  Once these Classroom Management Strategies were implemented, bullying in my classroom was almost completely eliminated.

So now, when I opened that classroom door, even at this wonderful school, and still I heard, “Johnny called me stupid!”  “Sally laughed at my coat!”  and “Frank budged!” what over the years had I learned to do?  To begin to share this with you, I would like to describe one particular bullying incident that took place, just before my placement at this wonderful school ended.  And this answers the “No” part of the question, as to whether or not “Pink Shirt Day” completely eliminated bullying.

A Bullying Incident Described

After recess one day, a young student came over to my desk, and he pointed to a fellow classmate, saying “She’s bullying me!”  In the cloakroom, while putting their belongings away, another student had been repeatedly blowing air in his face.  I know, this sounds very innocent!  But he had asked her to stop, over several days, and she wouldn’t.  He was obviously very upset about it.  (One-time incidents do not come under the definition of bullying; but repeated incidents do.)

My teaching partner and I had been talking with the children about trying first to solve the problem themselves, by being assertive and telling the other student to stop.  This student had tried this, however, and still the other student hadn’t stopped their behavior.  So at this point, he was taking the next correct “Anti-Bullying” step.  He was telling an adult.

Bystander Intervention, and Telling an Adult

So, what did I do, as the adult and teacher, and as the potential advocate for this child?  Did I brush off his complaint, because it seemed so innocent, and because I needed to get to Music or P.E?  Or, did I take the time to help him to problem solve, to teach the other student that what she was doing was Bullying, and even to take this opportunity to model good problem solving behavior with the whole class?

Ultimately, the additional strategy for resolving this problem was up to me, the teacher and adult involved.

The answer for me was, “Yes, take an action.” For me, I believed that the consequences of not getting involved, and not teaching those social skills, were just too great.  I.E., the bullying could continue; the problem could escalate; the other children would start copying it:  and I would end up with one big “Bullying Mess.”

Problem Solving Skills & Class Meetings

So, on this day, I chose to not teach the lesson I was intending to teach, and I chose to Problem Solve openly with the students involved.  First, I declared a Class Meeting time.   –I could have chosen to problem solve with the two children in private, but that would have meant that the other children would have needed to be independently at work, and this was Kindergarten.  So, I chose to problem solve with the help of the whole class.

I reminded the children of my basic Problem Solving Rules, that only one person can speak at a time.  (Insisting on hands up in a group setting works.)  I reminded them of another communication rule, too, which was to speak in a calm, inside voice, and to use respectful words and body language.  Then we began.

I asked each child for their version of the story, and each child was listened to well.  Also, the other children were able to tell what they had seen.  Yes, it wasn’t always that comfortable.  Yes, there was sometimes denial.  Yes, there were sometimes interruptions.  Yes, there was even anger and indignation.  But I remained calm, modeling good and respectful listening skills, and we worked through it.

Finally, the young girl could see what she had been doing was wrong.  She heard, felt and saw how upset she had made her classmate.  She empathized, took responsibility for it, and then she apologized.  These are the final steps in the Problem Solving Process.

Apologies, though, shouldn’t be quick and easy, without meaning.  Another Problem Solving Rule is that you need to stop and look the person you’re apologizing to in the eye, and you need to say you’re sorry as if you mean it, with compassion and in a respectful tone of voice.

This being done, the young boy felt heard.  He felt valued and safe again, and he said, “Thank you.”  Then, we were able to get on with the lesson at hand.

Where Did I Learn These Problem Solving Skills?

So, where did I learn these Problem Solving Skills?  Well, it wasn’t just through The Second Step Program, mentioned in Part 1 of this Article, although this is a very practical and informative program.  I also learned these Problem Solving Strategies through talking with teachers, listening to principals, reading books, and attending Classroom and Behavior Management workshops.  I also learned them through attending the school of hard knocks!  It took almost half of my on-contract teaching career to learn all these skills, and to put them together into these various steps that worked well for me.

Too, I found I had to modify these strategies, depending on the class and age group I was teaching.  When I was teaching Grades 1 and 2, for example, I would have mini Class Meetings after recess and lunch, if necessary, and for a number of years I held Class Meetings on Friday afternoons.  There is quite a large body of information about how to hold Class Meetings, and reading about how to conduct them is very interesting and worthwhile.

Researching similar strategies for parents, one year I found modified versions of Class Meetings for Families, to be used around the dinner table.  I have often thought to myself, how I wish parents had the opportunities that we had as teachers, to learn about these Classroom Management and Behavior Management Strategies.  I highly recommend that parents take all of these bolded beginning terms and strategies, and do some deeper research on them.  This article really is just an introduction to Anti-Bullying Strategies.

Preventing Bullying By Having a Set of Rules

One of my very key Classroom Management and Anti-Bullying strategies is that of prevention.  In all of my research and experience around having a safe and successful classroom, prevention is key.  Essentially prevention is achieved by having a strong set of classroom rules, which are consistently and fairly maintained.

The best book I ever read about establishing effective rules in the classroom was the book titled Discipline With Dignity, by Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler.  This very helpful book was referred to me by a fellow teacher in my earlier teaching years, and the book talks about how to set up and maintain your own set of classroom rules.

I found it very interesting that the process moves from a negative to a positive, when establishing these classroom rules; just like both the List and the successful Anti-Bullying Strategies mentioned in Part 2 of this Article.

Specifically in September, you begin by asking the children themselves what the rules are at school, and you write them down for them.  They will tell you, “No throwing!”  “No teasing!”  “No running!”  They love it!  With the children having told you all these rules themselves, they actually take much more ownership and responsibility for them!

Next, you begin to “sort and classify” these rules, under their more positive categories, changing them to positive, more global statements.  Ultimately you are aiming for the more positive classroom rules below.

A:  Be Kind.  (Use only positive, respectful words, tone of voice and body language, even when problem solving, etc..)

B:   Be Safe.  (No hitting, pushing, running, spreading germs, keep your hands to yourself, etc.)

C:   Learn.  (One person speaks at a time, listen, do your best, put your hand up, don’t interrupt, etc.)

Consequences Also Prevent Bullying

I have also learned that no set of rules will work without a clearly defined set of consequences.  There is much material written about Logical Consequences.  For myself, though, the most logical consequence in a classroom is a “Time Out” from the groupIn other words, if you cannot follow the classroom rules, then you cannot be a part of that group; albeit for a short period of time.

Consequences, however, are never the first line of defense.  Teaching the rules, and then reminders, warnings and then consequences are the best sequence of events.  Using the short form strategy of, “That’s once for not.., that’s twice, that’s three times, you’re out!” is also very valuable.

Consequences, too, should escalate, depending on the severity and frequency of the behavior.  In the Discipline with Dignity Program, the authors discuss how every teacher should choose one rule that was very important to them, and to make it very clear to their students that they have absolute authority over that rule, to immediately administer consequences if necessary.

The rule that I chose to do this with was the safety rule.  I warned my students that any unsafe behavior would be subject to immediate “time out” consequences, possibly including the more severe consequences of a call home, temporary removal from the classroom, (a visit to the Principal’s Office or Behavior Resource Room, if there was one), or temporary removal from recess, lunch, or even the school itself.  In very severe discipline cases, I even talked about how when you are grown up, hurting others can lead to intervention by the police and the court system.  This, of course, was rarely used, but it carried a lot of weight.

Regarding consequences for Bullying, I have actually heard of schools in the US where parents are fined if their children bully.  Cyber Bullying incidences in Florida, like those leading up to Canadian suicides of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, can result in teens being charged for distributing pornography.  In a very recent incidence of a teen suicide in Florida, caused by two teenagers who had bullied the female student who eventually killed herself, the teens were arrested on charges of felony stalking and harassment.  While these consequences may seem harsh, by the time children reach their teens, children need to know right from wrong, and they need to know that any type of Bullying is inappropriate.

Personally I have found that consequences in our both BC school system and Federally are not yet really clearly defined.  I believe there needs to be much more consistent attention given to this area in our school system and in our society today.  Fortunately, Federally in Canada, distributing private photos without permission is now being considered a crime. To their credit, also, the BC Ministry of Education has recently implemented a Code of Conduct in schools, informing parents that if their children’s behavior is not acceptable, there will be consequences.  Again, while these consequences are not yet clearly defined, parents are at least forewarned, and teachers and administrators are more “backed up” if they need to apply any of the consequences described above.

“The Truth” and Consequences

–Just a quick side note about “The Truth.”  Often I would reduce the severity of consequences, and even remove them, if a child would tell the truth rather than lie.  Children need to learn that it is safe to tell the truth, even if they have made a mistake.  Hiding and lying about Bullying is very common, and so lying also needs to be eliminated if you want to build a safe, Anti-Bulling atmosphere.

Preventing Bullying By Rewarding Good Behavior

Believe it or not, however, with enough preventative strategies in place, I found that I rarely needed to administer any more consequences than a short time out.  Eventually, even this was rare.

On a more positive note, too, another preventative strategy that I have found to be very effective is to reward the good behaviors that I desired.  I would often give out Good Behavior Awards, at least two or three a day, and I would frequently praise the positive behaviors that I observed in my classroom.  Practically speaking, at the end of my teaching day, I would sit at my desk, take out the good behavior certificates that I’d placed at the top of my daybook, and then I would reflect back on the day, remembering who had done a particularly kind or exemplary act.  I would then fill out the two or three certificates.  I even kept a class list attached to these certificates, to make sure that I eventually included everyone in the class.  This strategy is an example of Positive Reinforcement, and this is a very powerful teaching strategy.

In this way, I not only reinforced the behaviors I wanted, but at the same time I was building modeling, mentorship and even leadership amongst my students.  Suddenly, children would be going out of their way to behave positively towards each other, creating exactly the opposite climate from a bullying one.  Essentially, I would begin to experience a more calm, inclusive and nurturing classroom, and one in which much more learning could take place.

Part 4: Future Anti-Bullying Strategies: Peer Mediation

Effectively, modeling, mentorship and building leadership are all very important strategies to any Anti-Bullying Program.  Fortunately, these strategies are also very important to Peer Mediation, the Anti-Bullying Strategy recently recommended by our Federal Government.  Fortunately, too, as a Teacher On Call, I had the delightful experience of observing how Peer Mediation works, and first hand.  I will be sharing this wonderful experience with you in the last installment of my Anti-Bullying Article, Anti-Bullying Strategies of the Future.  Stay tuned!  The concluding Part 4 of this article will arrive in two weeks’ time.

Don't Bully... Be A Friend, Part 2

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Part 2

Part 2.  Anti-Bullying Programs Today

A Four-Part Article, By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed, Author, Teacher, Consultant

Introduction:

In my first article, I shared my 25 year history with Anti-Bullying Programs.  I shared how initially Anti-Bullying Programs were not very popular, because of thier inherant difficulties.  In Part 2 of this article, I discuss Anti-Bullying Programs today, from the context of recently teaching at a stellar Lower Mainland school.  Much has changed, especially at this school.  Here, modern Anti-Bullying Programs have both evolved and thrived.

Pink Shirt Day & My First Staff Meeting

Return now to present day, and the wonderful, brilliant school where I was teaching this Spring.  From my first article, you will know that at my first Staff Meeting here I was secretly and absolutely thrilled, as I learned that Anti-Bullying was made a priority.  When this stellar school’s Counselor got up to speak about Anti-Bullying Activities, I listened with surprise and sharp, keen interest.

The School Counselor’s Anti-Bullying Program this year was going to include all of the school’s students preferably wearing a Pink T-Shirt, on National Anti-Bullying Day.  The Student’s Council was also going to do some fun and creative activities in the afternoon, running stations such as face painting for the younger students.   At first, I didn’t really understand how this would relate to Anti-Bullying; but I was soon to find out.

At this staff meeting, the Counselor and fellow Resource Teacher also talked about some of the concerns inherent to the Anti-Bullying Program.  (What?  Déjà vu?)  First of all, they were concerned that some of the children, especially the boys, would be teased (i.e. Emotionally Bullied) for wearing a Pink T-Shirt.  –I was really impressed at this level of sensitivity, given to an Emotional Bullying scenario.  As I mentioned before, previously I had seen the emotional needs of students simply brushed off by the adults around them.

Then the Counselor and his committee added that while they wanted to encourage the children to wear a Pink T-Shirt, they decided not to make this mandatory—wearing a pink bracelet or anything else pink would do.   (What?  Even more sensitivity?)

Increased Bullying on Anti-Bullying Day

Next, the Counselor mentioned his third concern.  The Counselor mentioned that they were not going to have the usual “Walk for Bullying” activity, because they had found that when they held this event, incidences of bullying actually increased!  (He added that no one really knew why, but this was the case.)

What?!  Déjà vu again!  I thought, well, here I am, 25 years later, listening to the same piece of information, and I believe I know exactly why this happens!   I remember thinking, I need to talk with this Counselor privately, and to talk with him about why this is.  Being such a sensitive person, and a counselor with psychology training, I thought maybe I had finally found someone within the system who would understand.  –But of course, with teaching being such a busy profession, and with the counselor working in a completely different wing, I never got the chance.  This article is in part my way of sharing this reason with this amazing Counselor and school.

Modeling and Peer Mentoring

Anti-Bullying Week fast approached, and the way it was orchestrated, I was really, really impressed.  The Friday before Pink Shirt Day, several Student Council members arrived in our classroom, all ready to talk about the upcoming activities.  They arrived as a great mix of boys and girls, and they were all wearing Pink T-Shirts.  (Silently I was thinking to myself, what great modeling!)  Modeling, by the way, is one of simplest and yet most effective teaching and Anti-Bullying strategies available to us today.  Another term for modeling, at least in this context, is Peer Mentoring.  I will explain and describe this term further below.

The Student’s Council members next shared the reasons why they were wearing their Pink T-Shirts.  I had not heard this story before, but several years ago, a young man on the East Coast of Canada had been bullied at school for wearing a Pink T-Shirt, and he had eventually committed suicide over the incident.

When the Student’s Council delegates spoke, I could see the young students listening attentively to their peers.  I was silently amazed, as I watched all of my students easily empathize with the story.  There were no silly, disrespectful reactions; and the students all immediately agreed to wear a Pink T-Shirt on Anti-Bullying Day.  The younger students had heard about it from their “cool” peers.  They had seen caring and concern for the young boy modeled; and they were ready and “dialed in.”  This effectively is how Modeling and Peer Mentoring works.  Research shows that young children are much more likely to listen to their peers, about any subject, rather than listening to an adult.  However, you can still note from above that much adult knowledge and direction is needed behind the scenes to effectively deliver these components of an Anti-Bullying Program.

Now, looking a little deeper, I realize that the Student’s Council were not just modeling how to wear a Pink T-Shirt.  They were also modeling the values of tolerance, respect, inclusion, compassion and empathy.  All of these values are necessary to instill in children, when developing an Anti-Bullying Program.

Back, though, to Anti-Bullying Week.  Even  having seen how well the Pink Shirt Day message was delivered, I still really wasn’t ready for what happened on Monday morning.  When I opened my classroom door, to my complete shock and surprise, I was greeted by a sea of pink.  Pink jackets, pink backpacks, even pink shoes flooded my consciousness; and of course, there were many, many Pink T-Shirts.  On that Monday morning, almost every child in that classroom walked in the door wearing a Pink T-Shirt: and the very few that didn’t, arrived wearing something else that was pink, like a pink bracelet or pink socks.  The message about Anti-Bullying had been received: and I was completely flabbergasted.

Why, after 25 years of teaching, was I so surprised at this full class participation?  Well, in years past, on special days, I don’t think I’d ever seen 100 % participation.  –It could have even been Pink Lollypop Day!  “And even on a Monday?”  I asked myself!  Anyone who has ever taught Primary students knows that young students’ memories can often be fairly short.  Parents memories, too, can be a bit short, due to the distractions of a weekend.  I have to admit, my own memory could be a bit short, too, especially when I was busy teaching.  On that Monday, having forgotten to wear a Pink T-Shirt myself, last minute before I opened that door, and after seeing so many staff members wearing Pink T-Shirts, I quickly cut out a quick pink heart, and I attached it to my necklace and keychain.

With this 100% participation being so rare, I also began to reflect that many more key factors must be at work at this school, in order to make this event so successful.  I will share them with you in context, as I continue on.

Reduced Bullying During Anti-Bullying Week

Later that day, all the younger students had a wonderful time having their faces painted by the Students Council.  This time, on Anti-Bullying Day, no increase in Bullying took place.  To the school Counselor’s credit, he had effectively eliminated one of the principal difficulties with the Anti-Bullying Program: increased bullying, during Anti-Bullying Week.  I’m not really sure if anyone at that school, and even myself until I wrote this article, realized how truly amazing this was.

As you will remember, this increase in bullying was the main block the first Anti-Bullying Program being implemented at my earlier school, 25 years ago: and in one easy step, this Counselor and his Committee had simply eliminated it.  What I think happened, was that they took the emphasis on the negative aspects of bullying, just touched on them briefly, and then they changed the whole event into a much more positive, Peer Mentoring experience.  Bravo!  (This, by the way, is also the basics of how the List Program works.  You take a problem in your life, you write it down in a specific way, and then you rewrite the negative experience into a positive one.  This easy step effectively rewrites any limiting beliefs in your subconscious mind, changing negative realities into positive ones.  And, it works!)

More Amazement: An Assembly Extraordinaire!

Later that week, I continued to be astounded by the Anti-Bullying Program that this Counselor and his Student’s Council were able to present.  At the end of the week, the whole school attended a special Anti-Bullying Day Assembly.  There, the Student’s Council modeled and taught everything anyone ever needed to know about Anti-Bullying.  (More Peer Mentoring.) They modeled all the different Bullying scenarios, and then they modeled several effective strategies for their elimination.  I was silently amazed, as different members of the Student’s Council acted out specific Physical and Emotional Bullying examples.  After each example, they modeled the ways the students could help themselves or their peers to stop this Bullying.  The key defenses, repeated over and over, were to be assertive, to get away, and then to tell an adultAdvocacy for children who are being bullied was also modeled.  This was further termed, bystander intervention.

So, Did Anti-Bullying Week Stop Bullying At Our School?

Ultimately, the success of any program can be measured by whether or not the concepts have been transferred into every-day experience.  So, did Anti-Bullying Week stop Bullying at this school?  Well, to answer this question, I would have to say, “Yes,” and “No.”

Here is the “Yes” answer to this question.  At this school, there was always a sense of calm and maturity amongst the older, intermediate children, towards their younger student counterparts.

Were these results simply because of Anti-Bullying Week, however?  The answer to this question, I think, would have to be, “No.”

It Takes More Than One Special Week to Eliminate Bullying

I recently had the delight of speaking with the very first Principal to implement Anti-Bullying at my very first School District.  Just by chance, I was over at his School District’s Office, picking up a T-4 copy from my Teacher On Call work there.  I asked to speak with him, and he came down to talk to me immediately.  I reintroduced myself, reminding him of our past interactions.  I told him about the wonderful school I’d just been teaching at, and their many different Anti-Bullying activities.  Immediately he stated, it takes more than just Pink Shirt Day to eliminate bullying at a school.  I was initially a bit shocked by his statement, but I had to agree.  I will share with you more about our conversation, but first here are some examples of what I believe he meant.

Many Factors Implemented Over Time Contribute to Eliminating Bullying

As I mentioned earlier, there were many other positive mechanisms at work at this school, introduced behind the scenes and over time, which I think contributed to eliminating Bullying.

I experienced another special day over Easter, also implemented administered by the School Counselor and The Student’s Council.  A school-wide Easter Egg hunt was carried out, and the Student’s Council led the whole event, being especially attentive to their younger student’s.  Here I saw even more Peer Mentoring and Modeling, especially of the values of compassion, caring and responsibility.

In my classroom, too, every Friday was Buddy Day.  This was a day when a classroom of older students arrived in our room, and they helped us with theme-based lessons that both teachers designed just for Buddy Day.

I was surprised that in the four months that I taught at this school, I never saw an intermediate student at the office.  This in itself was a complete miracle.

The Office & Administration Contribute Greatly

Speaking about the office, here also was a key factor to the very smooth and positive functioning of this school.  The Principal and Vice-Principal were always right on top of everything that was happening at this school, but in a very friendly and positive way.  I have to say, too, that the secretaries at this school were simply amazing.  On my second day at this school, one of the secretaries caringly asked me how my day had been, and I was very grateful and surprised.  Her caring and compassion towards an unknown Teacher On Call was very unique.  Too, newsletters were a joint effort between the administration, staff and the secretaries, and newsletters to parents were always perfectly timed, friendly, and informative.  Also, there were many community events that families and staff could attend.  While Staff Meetings were many, I actually found that this was very beneficial for the effective running of this school.  The Principal and her Vice Principal always had an agenda; but input from the teachers and support staff was requested, valued and respected.  Special contributions and personal events in were often celebrated.  This positive and inclusive environment led to strong leadership amongst the teachers and other staff members.  Everyone had a different specialty; but teachers and support staff were all motivated and inspired, and they all worked very hard and well together as a team.

Effectively, I encountered these qualities and values everywhere I went at this school.  Arriving on my very first day, I was greeted by the Principal at the door.  She took the time to take me down to the classroom where I would be working the next day.  She warmly introduced me to the teacher I would soon be team teaching with.

Essentially, there was always a very positive, strong, nurturing, and caring community atmosphere at this school.  Subtly, too, this created great modeling for the children.

Over time, I realized I had arrived at a very special place.  Many schools spout policies of inclusion and mutual respect, but this can be difficult to achieve.  I would have to say that this school actually lived these policies, and I am so grateful that I was able to finally experience this, after 25 years of teaching.

Bullying can be prevented, when everyone involved is focused on everything that is bullying’s exact opposite; inclusion, nurturing and respect.

Article 3, In Two Weeks

In my next article, I discuss the Ministry of Education’s new program, E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education.)  I also discuss the “No” answer to the question, “Did Anti-Bullying Week stop Bullying at this school?”  Despite the many Anti-Bullying successes at this marvelous school, I found that some bullying still occurred.  In Article #3, I will share many personal classroom management strategies that I believe contribute significantly to eliminating bullying.

Anti-Bullying Logo Part 1

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Part 1.

A Four-Part Article About Solutions To Bullying,

By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed, Author, Teacher, Consultant

A Personal Note From The Author:

As many of you know, I recently returned to teaching part-time in the Public Education System.  What you may not know, however, is that within this system I have had a long history with Anti-Bullying Programs.  In a way, my interest in The List, aka Reality Dynamics, is due in part to this interest.  Essentially, the List is all about personal empowerment and safety, which is the direct opposite of what people experience in Bullying scenarios.  My recent return to teaching was so inspiring, largely because of the great progress in Anti-Bullying Programs that I experienced at the stellar school where I was teaching.  So often successes in the Public Education System go uncelebrated, and so my goal is to do just that.  Too, my goal is also to assist with the problems of cyber bullying and the resultant teen suicides.  Only very briefly do I touch on The List Program, although I believe that The List process would be a valuable addition to any Anti-Bullying Program.  Read on, and I hope you enjoy this unique and experienced window into the evolution of Anti-Bullying Programs in the Public Education System today.

Because of the extensive content and depth of this subject, I have divided this article into four parts.  I hope you enjoy reading this article, as I share further aspects of this topic with you over the next several months.

Part 1.  Anti-Bullying Programs Today & Yesterday: Emotional & Cyber Bullying & Teen Suicide

Finding new solutions to cyber bullying and resulting increased teen suicides was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appeal on Global News in May of 2013.  He asked that all Canadians need work together to find solutions to this new and challenging situation.  As a 25 year Public Education Teacher, I would like to respond to Stephen Harper’s call, and I would like to share the many successful Anti-Bullying Strategies that I have learned over my 25 year teaching career.  Essentially, I have closely researched and utilized Anti-Bullying Programs since their inception, almost 25 years ago.

At the risk of sounding like a “know it all,” receiving teachers were often impressed at how well my students learned, often being able to read, write and complete Math activities well beyond their grade level.  My students were happy, too, having fun at school.  Essentially, I found that the benefits of addressing Bullying in my classroom were immense.  When children felt safe, their potential for learning was infinite.

From my experience, however, not everyone in the Public Education System has made Anti-Bullying a priority.  While there have been some good reasons for this, with the added and exponential influence of technology, and the resulting teen suicides, I believe we cannot wait any longer.  All of us need to learn about and address Bullying now, for the benefit of our children and society.

To this end, and from first-hand experience, I will share with you every aspect of Anti-Bullying Programs that I have learned, from 25 years ago up until today.

In particular, this spring, I had the honor and privilege of teaching with a very fine group of professionals, at a well-established B.C. Lower Mainland school.  This brilliant group of professionals did make Anti-Bullying a priority; and I wanted to share this valuable experience with you.

After a 15 year hiatus from teaching on contract, this spring I ventured into teaching three days a week as a French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher.  When I arrived at this wonderful school, much to my surprise, these professionals were just starting to implement their yearly Anti-Bullying Program.

At my first of two  monthly staff meetings, the School Counselor got up to tell us about the school’s upcoming Pink T-Shirt Day, a National Anti-Bullying Week activity that he and his Anti-Bullying Committee were organizing for the whole school.

Secretly I thought to myself, “What, did I actually end up at a school where Anti-Bullying is made a priority?”  From my previous 25 years in the teaching profession, with 15 years as a teacher on contract and 10 years as a teacher on call, I must admit, this had often not been the case.  Here and now, at this school, I was about to see a new Anti-Bullying Program implemented first hand, and expertly.

To set the stage, though, I want to share with you my earlier teaching experiences with Anti-Bullying Programs.

Anti-Bullying Programs of Yesteryear

25 years ago, Anti-Bullying Programs were just starting out in Lower Mainland Schools.  At that time, I felt a strong need to have effective strategies to prevent Bullying in my classroom.

I was teaching Grades K-3, and  I had heard rumors that one of our district’s principals was implementing the first Anti-Bullying Program at his school.  So, after school one day I made an appointment with him, and he offered me his Anti-Bullying file.

I remember being a bit shocked when I first saw it: a large file, brimming over with loose papers, with some printed and many hand-written notes.  I remember asking him where the program came from, and I believe he replied that the program came from an introductory workshop made at a Principal’s Meeting.  Now, this principal tells me he remembers this first program was called, “Bully Beware.”

Despite my hesitation over the informality of this file, though, I rifled through it, and I copied everything that seemed relevant.  I then took it back to our school.  At our next Staff Meeting, I proposed that we implement the program.

After the usual discussion at our Staff Meeting, however, the principal that I was working with at the time recommended that we do not implement the program.  Needless to say, I was disappointed.  To his credit, though, he had a number of good reasons.  First, he felt it was more important to implement the new Social Skills Program that our district had just purchased for all of our schools, called The Second Step Program.  Especially, he wanted us to teach the Problem Solving Unit within that program.

He knew more about the first Anti-Bullying Program than I’d thought, informing us that learning Problem Solving Skills was an important part of the new Anti-Bullying Program.  When teaching this Unit, I learned that this principal was right.  Basically, the unit taught conflict resolutions skills, and especially how to be assertive in any situation.  This is a key and effective strategy in Anti-Bullying Programs today.

Next, our principal shared that there were really very few resources included in this new Anti-Bullying Program.  That, I could to attest to, having seen the original file.

Third, he added that even those people implementing the program had found that incidences of Bullying even increased when implementing this program.  As a principal, and often being the final recipient of challenging behavior at school, he was moving forward cautiously.   I respected this, and so I let it go.

Secretly to myself though, I thought, I think I know why this program actually increases bullying.  When I was looking through this program, even in its beginning stages, I was quite concerned with its emphasis on so many negative wordings and images.  I knew from my own lay psychological studies that negative words, especially when repeated, often created the reality that the words described.  As I looked through the program, I saw the word “Bullying” over and over again, with accompanying bullying images being viewed and drawn.  So, while the intent of the program was positive, I, too, was concerned about some of the program’s negative influences.

The lay psychological information that I had, however, was quite new information, and so I wasn’t really confident that my input would be accepted.

I had been very lucky to meet and study with one of the pioneering teachers in new thought psychologies, and her name was Jann Timmreck.  The title of her work was The List AKA Reality Dynamics.  The findings of her work, however, were not yet main stream.   So I waited for a more appropriate time to share them; and I continued to research and develop the education system’s and my own Anti-Bullying Strategies.

Emotional Bullying Identified

One of the very positive and important points that I remember from this first Anti-Bullying program, however, was that Emotional Bullying was for the first time clearly identified.  Emotional Bullying included activities such as teasing, taunting, name calling, exclusion, and not respecting another person’s space.  Physical Bullying, such as hitting in all of its various forms, was really more obvious.  For the most part, it had long been identified and dealt with.  But the emphasis on Emotional Bullying was new; and I felt, long overdue.

Emotional Bullying, at least at my grade level, was a really big issue.  As a classroom teacher, I felt I was dealing with this type of Bullying at least several times a day, and every day.  Complaints such as, “Johnny called me stupid!”  “Sally laughed at my coat!” and “Frank budged!” were all very common in my Primary Classroom.  (Please note that throughout this article the identities have been changed to protect the very innocent!)  Usually the incident would have happened outside, on the playground or before school, and it was brought into the classroom when I opened that door.

While these problems may on the surface seem innocent and trite, to young students they are very important.  To a teacher, trying to deal with the emotions involved is both complex and time-consuming; but the fallout from not dealing with these problems can be even more challenging.  From my experience, unresolved emotional bullying leads to even more serious conflicts, and even more disruptions and thus lost learning time in the classroom.

In those earlier years, when asking for assistance as how to deal with Emotional Bullying, I often found that it was just “glossed over,” by teachers, administrators and parents alike.  Comments such as, “Tell the Supervisor,” “That’s an outside problem, not an inside one,” and “Tough it out,” easily dismissed the need for adult intervention.

What the first Anti-Bullying program did, however, was to start to shine the light on what exactly Emotional Bullying was, and eventually how important it was to deal with it.  The principal I was working with at the time asked us all to be more aware of this type of bullying, and in the future to treat it just as seriously as Physical Bullying.

Emotional Bullying at the Root of Teen Suicides

Overall, I now believe that this type of Bullying, Emotional Bullying, added to the exponential influence of our cyber world, is very much at the root of teen suicides.  Now especially, we need to learn strategies to deal with Emotional Bullying, just as much as Physical Bullying.

Granted, one of the simple reasons why Emotional Bullying is often glossed over in schools is that Emotional Bullying usually takes place in areas where adults are not.  As I touched on earlier, Bullying often takes place in “hidden places:” on the school playgrounds, during recess and lunch, in cloakrooms, or before and after school.  Essentially, Emotional Bullying takes place where students are not as closely supervised by an adult, and where they are left to interact with their own young and “burgeoning” social skills.

With a mandate for teachers to teach Reading, Writing and Math, and any number of new programs, in the past addressing Bullying has taken more of a side note.  Too, Problem Solving due to any type of Bullying can often take a lot of time to work out, and effective Problem Solving takes special knowledge and skills.  Hurt feelings are often caused unintentionally with younger children; but if you choose to problem solve about them, you need to take the time to talk with the students involved, and to carefully move the situation to final resolution.  All the while, too, you are supposed to be teaching 20 to 30 other students!  For myself, it took me almost half of my career to learn effective strategies to facilitate Problem Solving, especially in Emotional Bullying scenarios.  I will share the basics of these strategies further in other parts of this article.

Teen Suicides in BC

Continuing with my history with past Anti-Bullying Programs, fast forward to about three years ago, when many aboriginal teenagers had committed suicide in the Lake Cowichan area on Vancouver Island.  Then, the local RCMP and the Aboriginal Community were reaching out for help, just as Stephen Harper is doing now.  At the time, I had stopped teaching on contract, and I had long moved into substitute teaching.  I did this because I needed time to teach the lay psychological program I mentioned earlier, which explained why the anti-bullying program had inherent difficulties.  By this time, I was the co-author of the book, The List AKA Reality Dynamics, and I had moved into speaking about and teaching the program to churches, colleges and local societies.

I felt that The List Program had much to offer to the Cowichan teen suicide crisis, and I wanted to share the additional Anti-Bullying strategies that I had learned in my teaching career.  Essentially, The List Program helps to create much more safety for children, and much more prosperity and happiness for their families.  Being very effective, The List can also help parents to have more control over what happens in their children’s lives, in terms of who their children’s friends are, their children’s success at school, and the direction of their children’s future.  But after many calls, there seemed to be no way in.  Most everyone I could get through to did not even return my calls.

Finally, I even contacted the original principal who had implemented that very first Anti-Bullying Program in my district, 25 years ago.  When I reached him, this principal had been promoted to Director of Instruction in a different Lower Mainland School District.  (Someone was listening!)  He informed me, however, that he was no longer directly involved in Anti-Bullying Programs.  He did mention, though, that the BC Ministry of Education was now involved, under the Department of Safer Schools.  He added that this Department would be coming out soon with a new Anti-Bullying Program, titled E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education.) 

So, even though he was no longer as directly involved, he was still “on the pulse.”  I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a way in to assist in Lake Cowichan.  I was also disappointed that this principal (I thought) was no longer involved in working with the program.  But I was relieved that the Ministry was going to make Anti-Bullying a priority.  I looked forward to seeing their new program, and I continued with substitute teaching and teaching my own prosperity and even Anti-Bullying Program, the List, AKA Reality Dynamics.

In further parts of this article, learn more about E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education), Behavior Management Strategies, Peer Mediation, and much, much more.

 

Goals for 2013

What Do You Want in 2013?

What Do You Want in 2013?

Live List Call, Sat. Jan. 26, 1-3 PM PST.

What Do You Want In 2013I hope you had a wonderful 12-21-12, a Merry Christmas, and a great start to your 2013 New Year!

“So, What Do You Want in 2013?”

On Sat., Jan. 26, from 1-3 pm, Joe Timmreck and I will be co-hosting our first List Update Teleclass asking you, “What Do You Want in 2013?

January is a great time to renew your List and to set new goals for yourself, your loved ones and your world!

Joe Timmreck is co-author and co-developer of the List process, and he has often been listed in “Who’s Who in the World” directories for his unique ability to solve problems that were previously viewed as unsolvable. He and I will enjoy reviewing the List Update process with you, answering your questions for 2013, and helping you with any of your List wordings and techniques.

We Had An Advanced List Gathering On December 30, 2012

Over Christmas, a close List Alumni invited a number of List friends to her home. We were very pleased to have 12 people, and we all enjoyed sharing our goals for 2013.

I love meeting with List Alumni. List Alumni are generally very intelligent, socially responsible and caring individuals. The shooting of children and teachers at a Connecticut Elementary School was on everyone’s minds, as well as other global concerns.

Our subjects ranged from personal responsibility, to oneness, to teaching our children to be nicer to one another.

Throughout the evening, we also shared many theme-based wordings from past Advanced List Classes. Advanced Relationship and Family List Wordings were popular, and many attendees reviewed List wordings from The Essential List.

One of the most popular subjects for the afternoon was the subject of money: money in all of its aspects, including prosperity, abundance, feeling worthy of receiving abundance, etc.

The topic of money will be the subject of our first Good/Bad Teleclass scheduled for Sat., Feb. 2nd, also from 1-3 PM, PST. Speaking of “money, honey,” the fee for that teleclass is just $30.00. You can pay by check or using PayPal through our website.

The Subconscious Mind

At our gathering, I also found myself reviewing how the subconscious mind operates, when helping people word their “I Am” List statements correctly. I found myself reminding people of the following key points:

– The subconscious mind is very literal.

– It does not think or judge.

– Think of the dictionary meaning of the words you are using.

– Words such as “harmony,” “spirit,” “connectedness,” “release,” and “openness” may get you some of the etheric essence of what you mean; but they can also get you the literal meanings of these words:

The King... of HarmonyIn the case of harmony, you may all of a sudden find yourself surrounded by a lot of music.

In the case of spirit, you may be attracting spirits.

In the case of connectedness, you may find that you bump into things a lot!

In the case of release, you may find yourself releasing energies over and over again.

Openness could even refer to physical openness: for example, an “open mind” may lead to brain surgery.

Let’s Continue The Discussion…

What many of us found at the end of our evening was that we had only just begun to talk about and determine our List goals for 2013. Words like “unity” and “oneness,” I even needed to think about, as to how to best word these topics.

If you would like to join with us and continue the discussion, join us on Sat., Jan. 26th at 1 PM Pacific. After a brief overview of how to update your List, we will be able to focus on helping you determine “I Want” and “I Am” List statements for 2013, and we look forward to hearing your personal insights and questions.

Advanced List Teleclasses, 2013

Join us on Sat., January 26th, for our first Advanced List Teleclass. You will be able to call in by phone or via Skype. Join us also for our first Good/Bad Class Teleclass scheduled for Sat., Feb. 2nd, also from 1-3 PM, PST.

We will be sending you more details very soon.

Safe and Secure at all Times, Not Without a List!

“On the Edge,” or Safe and Secure at all Times!

Safety for everyone, everywhere, and in any situation?  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?   Safety for your children, your house and your personal possessions?  Safety as a woman, or safety even doing extreme sports?

Yes, all this and much more are possible if you have a List.  Indeed, life for me before having a List was a bit like living “on the edge,” or like hanging from the edge of this cliff on the Oregon Coast!

 

Jann Timmreck, and My Personal Safety

 

I remember during my first List Class in 1986, as I sat in awe of Jann Timmreck, listening to all the wonderful things she taught us then.  I remember how shy and quiet I was, and how all of a sudden she just stopped teaching and looked directly at me, saying, “You’re here for safety.  You’re here for the safety that the List can bring to you.”

At the time, I was shocked.   “How could she have known that I feel so vulnerable?” I thought to myself.

“Oh yes,” I answered my own question.  “She’s psychic!”

Indeed, this was just one small part of who Jann Timmreck was.

First and foremost, Jann Timmreck is the original developer and teacher of the List, aka Reality Dynamics.  Whether it was her powerful List goal setting process, her Mind Frames communications class, or her Visualizations techniques, everyone who knew Jann Timmreck loved and respected her.

When Jann first told me I was in the List Class for safety, I understood what she meant on a personal level; but it wasn’t until much, much later that I understood the full extent of what she told me that day.

Indeed, I came to experience that safety was one of the most powerful aspects of the List, potentially giving you safety and freedom in any situation you choose, and a rock solid foundation on which to stand.  (I hope you enjoy these home-made, illustrative pictures.)

Safe and Secure at all Times, A Rock Solid Foundation
Safe and Secure at all Times, The List Builds A Rock Solid Foundation

 

List Safety Wordings

 

If you are a List Alumni, you will know that the safety List wordings are the only List wordings that are recommended that everyone put on their Lists.  All other wordings you put on your List are completely by choice.

 

“… safe and secure at all times, easily, enjoyably and comfortably..,” is the most highly recommended List safety wording.

Many List alumni also make it a priority to place these safety wordings on their List for their children, other their family members and their other loved ones.

 

 “… safe and secure at all times in any vehicle, easily, enjoyably and comfortably..,” is also recommended, because so many of us travel in vehicles in our daily lives.

 

You may even want to add the wordings,

“…feeling safe and secure at all times..,” if you are a particularly sensitive person.

 

Lastly, we also recommend that you put safety wordings on about anything that you do but have concerns about.

 

“… safe and secure at all times while mountain biking, easily, enjoyably and comfortably..,” for example.

 

The List as an Anti “Violence Against Women” Tool.

 

For me, while I didn’t have this wording on my List initially, one of my biggest concerns was being,

“safe and secure at all times as a women….”  Before I had a List, I must admit that I often had experiences of being unsafe around men.

“Unsafe.”  That’s a nice way to put it.

Sexually abused at a young age, and an RCMP call at 21, when a drunken man tried to violently break into my basement suite, are just a few examples of my “unsafe” experiences as a young woman in our society.

Once I had my List, however, I have to say that this kind of experience just completely disappeared.  –My physical boundaries were much, much stronger; and initially I didn’t have to do anything but place the initial safety affirmations on my List.

Indeed, there was one other moment several years later in my life when Jann Timmreck turned to me and surprised me about the subject of safety once again.  I was talking with her about the need for me making sure I chose a safe place to live as a woman, where the roads were well lit at night, and the neighborhood was safe, etc., etc.  Jann looked directly at me again, and she said, “You are safe Marnie.  You don’t need to worry any that more.”

Initially, I really had trouble believing this; having had such challenging experiences earlier in my life.  It took me a while to get used to this idea.  Was it really true?  What a novel idea!  This was when I began to reflect back, and I realized that for a good, long time, those incidents of not being safe around men had virtually gone away.  (This is when I began to think of the List as my Anti “Violence Against Women” Tool.)

 

Safe and Secure at all Times, Yes With The List!
Safe and Secure at all Times, Yes With The List!

Safety and our Subconscious Beliefs

 

Ultimately, what I came to believe, and what Jann taught us, is that we are really only as safe and secure as our conscious but especially our subconscious beliefs lead us to be.

This is truly what makes the List such a unique program.  Once you have defined what you want (or what you don’t want), and you have written it in the unique and positive Reality Dynamics List way, you will have made a set of positive conscious and subconscious affirmations, for whatever you want and choose.   Indeed, the unique List process completely rewrites and eliminates your limiting conscious and subconscious beliefs.  This is what makes The List so much more powerful than most just consciously directed goal setting and affirmations programs.

 

The List as a NEW Safety Tool, Metaphysical & Otherwise!

 

So, why am I writing this article now, and not for example on International Women’s Day?  Well, life and time gets in the way; and indeed, I really did want to.  I got very busy, however, and I am just getting to it now.  (I need to a Good/Bad Technique on Time!  LOL.)

I am writing this article now, because of an experience I recently had with a friend and long-term List Alumni. In recent conversations, my friend mentioned the word “safe,” in a number of situations.  One of her concerns was that in some of our List Class activities, we don’t include many of the metaphysical traditions that are emerging in metaphysical communities today: invoking the energies of the four directions, smudging, voicing that only positive energies on any level are present before meditations, etc.

Not that these processes have not been important in the past.  Too, not that The List doesn’t have a metaphysical component, if you choose.  By the way, the List wording to ensure your safety on the level of higher consciousness is,

 

“… safe and secure at all times on any level, easily, enjoyably and comfortably…”

 

Upon reflection, however, I was able to reaffirm what I already knew.  As I learned from Jann so long ago, and in particular with my safety as a woman, the List itself provides so much safety, and safety on such a new and deep level, that the need for these activities becomes nearly non-existent.  Also, many of these activities take much time, planning and energy.  So, too, do List activities: but in the long run, they do not take nearly as much.

Indeed, once your List affirmations are in place, your List is working for you 24 hours a day, every day, and for the rest of your life if you choose.  All you need to do is to review your List approximately every six months to a year, keeping it up to date.  Too, the safety wordings are some of the wordings that you will leave on your List at all times.

 

Core Limiting Beliefs & The List Good/Bad Technique

 

Finally, what is also significant to this story, is that if you have a concern come to your mind, in the form of a specific fear or a repeated word or situation in your life, this is a significant indicator to you that you have additional limiting subconscious beliefs about that particular subject area.

In this situation, you would want to “load up” your List with safety wordings, relating to specific areas of concern.  Too, you may also want to do the List Core Limiting Belief Good/Bad Technique, on that particular subject area.

I remember personally doing so many Good/Bads about the subjects of safety, women, men, mother, father, and more.

 

Building A Strong & Safe Reality

 

In conclusion, I know that all of these List Techniques have assisted me in creating a much better, safer life for myself.  Indeed, I believe that I now have a strong foundation of core positive subconscious (and conscious) beliefs, and a much more positive and safe reality, thanks to Jann Timmreck and the List.

 

Learning The List & Good/Bad Classes

 

Presently, I am working with Joe Timmreck, co-developer of the List process, on internet marketing and introducing the Good/Bad Classes on-line.  To begin at the beginning, the first word we will begin with is the word “safety,” and we will work through other important subject wordings (mother, father, “time,” etc., over time.)

We are also working on having List Classes on-line, but this will take us a bit more time and effort.

Please remember that you can always order a List book for friends and family here through this website, and also check here for upcoming classes in your area!

Stay tuned for more, and wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous Spring!