The #youredustory prompt for this week is tackling an issue that plagues not only school but life. Bullying is the ugly side of life. Physical, social, emotional, no matter what format, it truly is ugly. Unfortunately it is rife in all areas of society, especially schools. I have been witness to some horrendous cases and there is no worse parent meeting to have than a parent expressing their fear that their child is being bullied. How do you combat bullying at your school? Personally, I believe that the culture of the school does set the scene for this. Your core values, the fabric of your school influence the way that students, staff and parents interact. At my school this is developed through what Martin Seligman calls “Positive Psychology”. In his famous TED talk “The new era of Positive Psychology”, Seligman talked about the three aims of positive psychology:
1. Psychology should be just as concerned with human strength as it is with weakness.It should be just as concerned with building strength as with repairing damage.
2. It should be interested in the best things in life.
3. It should be just as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling, and with genius, with nurturing high talent.
These aims are the antithesis of bullying and the reason that they have resonated so much with our school community. We are now nearly three years in to our Positive Psychology journey and below I have listed the culmination from the first year and a half. I am part of the Positive Psychology Steering Committee and am particularly proud of the primary goal: To foster character through a strength based approach. What I love about this is that we are looking for the good in all and working with those who don’t yet see it in themselves. We are all good and bullying is more a cry for help than any thing else.