I visited Webster for the 2nd time last Friday. Here is what we talked about:
4th Grade – Goal Boosters
This visit we talked about friends. Why is it important to choose good friends? What do you look for in a good friend? Do you hold yourself to those standards? These are all questions I asked the kiddos to think about.
Most elementary school kids get along with each other, but as these kids get older and move on to larger schools (Malibu MS/HS or elsewhere), the group each kid surrounds themselves with becomes more and more important. During my years in the STAR Program, I have seen numerous students help themselves by having a good group of friends, and I have seen kids put into bad situations over and over again just because they were hanging out with the wrong people.
To emphasize this message, I have two skits for the class act out. I am the narrator, and the students have to act out the actions that I announce (for example, if I say that the student enjoys playing the violin, the actor must mimic playing a violin). The skits are about a boy named Gunther, and how his friends react to him as he tries to accomplish a personal goal. Some of his friends mock him, some try to distract him and some are helpful. The punchline of the 2nd skit suggest a possible date for Gunther, and it always brings down the house and turns some faces red (which is always fun).
5th Grade – Communication and Internet Safety
I talked to the 5th Grade about the proper use of electronic devices. By 5th grade, the vast majority of kids have their own cell phones and/or computers, tablets, video game consoles or some other online device, and not every kid understands what a big responsibility using those devices has become.
There are at least two or three examples of inappropriate behavior using electronics every year at the various schools I teach at, and I shared with the kids a few of these stories and the consequences that ensued. Whether its an inappropriate picture, a disrespectful or outright mean message or some other inappropriate behavior, the kids need to understand that anything sent out electronically has the potential to be seen by anyone and everyone. They also need to know there are consequences for inappropriate use of electronics that could include restrictions, suspensions, expulsions and even arrests. With that in mind, I gave the students the following rules:
- If you have something important to say, say it in person (if at all possible).
- If you wouldn’t say something to a person face to face, you shouldn’t send it electronically.
- Don’t send any pictures or messages that you wouldn’t be comfortable showing your parents, grandparents or teachers.