The radio show This American Life is an engaging weekly hour that sometimes takes on serious news investigations and sometimes takes a lighter look at everyday life. This week, the show took “middle school” as its theme, and produced several stories about life for middle schoolers, all focused around the question of why middle school is often so hard to navigate for so many kids.
The whole hour is worth a listen, but “Act Six” is especially relevant for teachers interested in understanding and reducing bullying.
In it, a middle school teacher talks about how she enlisted classroom leaders to help turn things around for one boy with home problems and anger management issues who was frequently a target of bullying. It reinforces one of the messages of our Creating a Culture of Kindness trainings, which is that peer pressure is so strong and effective at this age, it makes sense to harness it and use if for the forces of good, instead of for evil!