Truth or Consequences
We seem to be a culture that loves gossip. Talking about others is a normal part of communication to many. It's also the single biggest contributor to negative peer pressure. The problem is emotional safety is shattered when our trust is violated and the fastest way to violate trust is through gossip. We can address this in class by re-establishing what's culturally acceptable. Memorize the following statement because you are going to say ten thousand times each school year. Are you ready?
"Leaders do not talk about others unless it's to encourage, complement or tell an adult if you need help."
Our addiction to the latest gossip has created a myriad of reality TV shows, talk shows, cable, and YouTube channels. Everyone is talking about everyone. From access Hollywood to 60 minutes, from the school yard to the work break room, we all want to be in the "know." It's as though when we talk about others, it makes us somehow feel better about ourselves. This addiction to gossip is not about the need to communicate, but rather the need to be accepted by others. It's a direct reflection of the Hen House Hierarchy (from our training).
To help change this in your classroom, play the telegraph game. In case you don't remember what that is, seat your class in a circle. The caller (teacher for younger grades) whispers a sentence into the first person's ear. The caller cannot say it twice. Each student is to repeat what they think they heard in the ear of the next person until the message reaches the last person in the circle. They say what they think the original message was. It's fun and often hilarious to see how different the messages typically are from each other.
This is an excellent example of how to experience the distortion of gossip. This is a pretty hard one to end on your campus but the more positive peer pressure students exhibit by refusing to say or listen to anything bad about anyone, the more of a cultural habit it will become. It can and does happen and is a skill the most mature leaders master.
Together, we can do this!
Pete and the Pirates is on it's way...
This delightful production is filled with cantankerous pirates, castaway children, island natives, magical fairies and beautiful mermaids who must learn how to forgive in the midst of injustice. This powerful unit provides life-long tools for coping with issues of forgiveness.