Saturday, January 22, 2011

Give "Put-Ups" not "Put-Downs!"

"Put Up" Designed by student council member
side two
One of my roles at school, in addition to my role as a school counselor, is co-advising student council with the other school counselor.  One of many the benefits of co-advising student council (especially with another counselor!) is the opportunity to facilitate school-wide programing aligned with our school counseling program.

At our first student council meeting in January, we told the students we were interested in hosting "No Name Calling Week," January 24th - 28th.  We explained that "No Name Calling Week" is a week-long event to foster dialogue about bullying and disrespect.  The students were very excited and began brainstorming ideas.  One of the students had an idea to make and sell "Put-Ups," an alternative to "put-downs."  I was very impressed with her idea, because I have a lesson from Teaching Tolerance about "Put-Ups," but I have not facilitated it at my current school.

"Put-ups" are compliments or positive statements that make people feel good, whereas "put-downs" are negative statements or things said to make someone feel bad. All of the student council members were very excited about the idea of selling "Put-Ups" and hosting a "No Name-Calling Week" at our school.

"Put-Up" designed by student council member
side one
One of the student council members used the postcard function in Microsoft Publisher to design the "Put-Up." One side says "Stay Up with a Put-Up" and the opposite side says "Make someone a star and put them up!"  Students can write their message in the star. Student council members also designed a banner and posters to hang around the school.

During "No Name Calling Week" student council members will sell "Put-Ups" during lunch for twenty-five cents and then donate the proceeds to a charity.  Teachers and staff are able to buy "Put-Ups" for a student or another staff member!  Student council members will deliver the "Put-Ups" to students' homerooms.  Homeroom teachers are encouraged to display students "Put-Ups" on the wall to reinforce positive language and complements.

We are also encouraging teachers to nominate students each day during "No Name-Calling Week" who demonstrate respect and exemplary character.  Nominated students will receive a "shout out" on the morning announcements. By recognizing students for showing respect and kindness to others, we are hoping to inspire other students to demonstrate the same behaviors.

Hosting a "No Name-Calling Week" is a great way to start a dialogue with students and staff about respect and bullying. I love the "Put-Up" idea because it encourages students to compliment each other and focus on the positive. The "No Name-Calling Week" website has lesson plans and resources for hosting your own "No Name-Calling Week." Barnes and Noble has partnered with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network this year to highlight books, resources, and information about bullying. Teaching Tolerance also has a great lesson about "Put-Ups."

How are you celebrating "No Name-Calling Week" at your school? Comment below, email me, tweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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