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The Buddy System Overcomes The Bully System! Buddy Up Those Classrooms!

Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning
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There is nothing like your very own buddy. We can also have many buddies. Classrooms can be filled with buddies. Teachers, you can make this happen especially in the younger grades so that it becomes the “new normal” in our upper grades. It’s not too late in the upper grades but it is easier when it begins when children are basically color blind until they learn differently. Each child has a new buddy each week until every child has experienced each child in his classroom as his buddy.

Why does this work? The word buddy itself connotes friendship. The Thesaurus gives synonyms such as pal, playmate, companion, and partner. Wikipedia says you are one of a pair or a team. Well now, that certainly says a great deal for the idea that the buddy system can overcome the bully system amongst children of all ages.

The way this works is magic. I have witnessed it many times and teachers can not get over how something so simple can resolve many social issues in a classroom filled with diversity. My buddies all look different, feel differently and were raised differently. But they are my buds and so I too become color blind, diversity blind and open up to a great wealth of knowledge and understanding about the world around me. Classrooms are just small communities that mirror out global one. When children get to experience someone as their buddy, they become protective and more empathetic and that is where we are heading. You do not bully your buddy..you take care of him/her.

I read a wonderful new approach in the playground. It is called the Buddy Bench. When children are feeling isolated, lonely or picked on in the playground, they go to the buddy bench. A child has the opportunity to extend their hand in friendship and kindness. Oh my goodness, it is working!
This started with one young man wanting to make a difference for children who were left out on the playground. Now there are many varieties of Buddy Benches available. Does your school have one?

I have attached a link for you to see.
The Buddy Bench Story


Being emotionally intelligent is having empathy and no greater way than to experience oneself as a buddy!


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Karen Stone has over 35 years experience in education from preschool-college. She has a BA in Special Ed and MA in Learning Disabilities. Not only a professional in the field but also a parent of a child with significant disabilities. Her business experience includes 5 years as manager of an after-school tutoring program in 9 counties of NJ. She is currently the CEO of SoftStone Products, Inc. Karen has written children’s Emotional Intelligence programs (Pre-school-HS) research-based and piloted. This program is complete with classroom curriculums and parent guides. Karen writes an anti-bullying blog with now over 100,000 followers. She is currently giving in-service workshops in school districts receiving many positive comments. She is also a motivational speaker and author of a children's book and CD. Her passion and life’s work is helping to create emotionally safe environments in school and at home so that each child has the opportunity to reach his/her unique potential. She lost her beautiful son to Melanoma a year ago and has been able to sustain his passing thanks to her ability to maintain an emotionally safe internal dialogue. Currently, working to create a grief support group teaching these important life sustaining skills..

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Guest Sunday, 19 May 2019