Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bullying: Prevention vs. Intervention

“The best violence prevention program is to build a sense of community.”

There are a number of intervention strategies to deal with the ever-present and increasingly alarming problem of bullying. As I frequently state in my presentations, “intervention is never as effective as prevention.” Intervention is initiated after a problem has begun so you’re scrambling and trying to play catch-up. In the case of bullying, emotions often come into play and can drive the decisions we make. Decisions made under emotion distress are not always the best.

Prevention, on the other hand, is proactive. We don’t start out behind the 8-ball. There is nothing more effective in preventing school violence and bullying than building a sense of community. While there will still be disputes and skirmishes, they are less likely to evolve into full-fledged violence or bullying when a sense of community has been established.

Here are a few questions to help you build a supportive school community. I suggest discussing them with your colleagues in an effort to create effective action plans:

  • On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most positive, how would you rate your school climate?
  • Are you satisfied with the rating you have given? If so, what do you need to do to maintain your success? If you’re not satisfied, what can you do to create a more positive school climate?
  • What are the qualities/characteristics of a “sense of community” in a school? How will you know if your school has this “sense of community”?
  • What can you (and your colleagues) do to create a sense of community in your school?
  • Will a sense of community help minimize violence and bullying in your school? If so, is it worth your time and effort?

As always, if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please send the link to your friends. Thanks.

Bob Sullo
PO Box 1336
Sandwich, MA 02563

For information about books by Bob Sullo and to schedule a keynote, workshop, or series for your school, agency, or parent group visit www.internalmotivation.net

1 comment:

  1. So true. The high school that is using my novel 'You Can't Shatter Me' to stimulate discussion on bullying with years 7 -10 is hoping that it will contribute to creating a positive climate in the school through its emphasis on teaching kids how to deal with their emotions regardless of whether they are the bully, the bullied or a bystander.