by Barbara Gilmour
Truman the Dragon came to class loaded down with art supplies. The other kids had some too, but not as much as Truman. When Ms. Gilmour saw him, she said, “Hello,” first and then rushed to help him.
Tanner, Rudy, Carmen, Stephen and Nicole all greeted her as they put their art supplies on the table she had ready. Then they all looked at Truman and asked, “Why did you bring so many art supplies?”
Truman smiled as he said, “When I went home from class last week and thought about all the places at school where bullying happens, I knew that we would need to make more than one poster each. I want us to be able to make enough posters so kids will see where they need to learn to be Cool Kind Kid Challengers. Ms. Gilmour and all the kids cheered for Truman.
Ms. Gilmour then said, “Well, we have a lot of work to do, so we’d better get started. Before we start making the posters, let’s make a list of places we want to show.”
Hands started going up as Tanner was first to share, “The classroom.”
Nicole added, “The cafeteria.”
Rudy said, “We definitely need to include the lockers.”
Carmen added, “The bathrooms need to be bully-free.” Everyone agreed.
Stephen said, “What about the gym and locker room?”
“Good one, Stephen,” said Truman. He continued, “We can add the playground and ball fields, too.”
Next, Ms. Gilmour asked the kids to think about challenges for just the classroom. Since this was the place that Tanner felt was important to show, he responded, “I think a challenge for the classroom would be to get to class on time, take your seat promptly and be prepared.”
Nicole looked at him funny and said, “But how does that prevent bullying?”
Ms. Gilmour asked if anyone had an answer for Nicole. No one was sure what the right answer was. She wanted the kids to think of the answer on their own, so she prompted them by saying, “What does being on time, taking your seat promptly and being prepared show your classmates and your teacher?”
Nicole jumped up. “I know! It shows them respect.” Truman fist bumped Nicole.
Ms. Gilmour continued, “Showing respect helps everyone get along, especially in the classroom.”
Tanner had already started drawing on his paper. The kids all wanted to know what he was going to draw. He replied, “I’m showing some desks in a classroom, with kids sitting up straight, their homework on top and a clock on the wall. Then I’m going to write ‘Cool Kind Kid Challengers show respect to teachers and classmates by being on time and prepared for class.’” Everyone applauded Tanner.
Ms. Gilmour then said, “It looks like we have much more to talk about with just the classroom part of school. I know you will have more good ideas for classroom challenges when we meet again next week. Bye for now.”