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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
FEBRUARY 2001
Volume 2 Number 2

COVER STORY
Cheryl Ristow never thought her life would change so much with one click. This month's cover story tracks our own Aggie/CA from net newbie to published author!
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Jan Fisher Column
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
ARTICLES
Read Across America
How to Excel as a Reading Specialist
Independent Learning
ADD and the Structured Environment
How Do I Manage a Class?
6 Traits of Writing
Indians for Mascots
Child Violence
The Unsinkable Sub
Visually Impaired and EC
Magic Slippers Poem
Becoming a Tech Savvy Administrator
The Killing of a Spirit
Bullying in Schools
Student Photo of Mars
REGULAR FEATURES
Web News & Events
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Poll: Weirdest Thing?
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:


About Kathy Noll...
Kathy Noll was always creative as a child, making up stories to entertain friends, and that still holds true today. Taking a two-year writing course to improve her techniques, she has also learned a lot through observation, and over-thinking!

Kathy says, "With me, the most important thing in writing is notes, notes, notes! Everything in my environment gives me ideas throughout the day, and I'm quick to write them down so I don't forget. Some of the stuff might fit what I'm currently working on. The rest, I'll save as inspiration for future projects."

"I have also found that I can write the best, and get the most done, when I play the role of the hermit! Sometimes I compare myself to Beethoven. In that when we're working on something creative, we neglect ourselves in order to stay focused and get it finished quickly. For example: hair-unbrushed, clothes-unchanged, stomach-unfed!"

She has also had her short stories/articles published in magazines along with interviews, helped NBC news monitor a classroom in Philadelphia for bullying behavior, and also helped many pqeople with their own bully problems through her book, educational and family related internet chats, message board hosting, and e-mail.

Writing this book has generated many letters of thanks from both adults and children. She shares with us how this book has touched her:

"I want to mention a dear little boy with only one leg who gets teased at his school. He opened my book as a gift from his mother on Christmas morning, and didn't put it down until he finished.

He then said, "I feel a lot better about myself now; this is the best book I ever read."

When his mother told me this, with tears in my eyes I told her, "Now I know why I wrote the book.""

Please e-mail me at: kthynoll@aol.com

About Jay Carter... Dr. Jay Carter (MA, PsyD) is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in West Reading, PA - Carter Counseling. Professional speaker since 1974, he is the best selling author of Nasty People and Nasty Men," addressing issues of conflict and difficult personalities. His books have sold 1/2 million copies, his latest one being Butterflies: The Transformation of Man.

He is on the Executive Committee for the Berks Area Psychological Society, under contract with Berks County Prison (where he learned a lot about the Bully mentality), and is currently contracted with the Caron Foundation to do evaluations for adolescents.

Dr. Carter has taught thousands of people through adult education courses and workshops dealing with Charisma, Leadership, and Difficult People. His books and workshops have made positive changes in personal and professional lives.

He has also appeared on numerous radio and TV shows around the world, and consulted with the Oprah Winfrey Show for shows on "Verbal Abuse" and "Obnoxious Husbands." "Readers Digest" consulted with him for an article on Mean People, and he was awarded with the Maggie Award for an article on the Contagiousness of Verbal Abuse in "Mothering Magazine."

 


Best Sellers

Nasty People
by Kathy Noll & Jay Carter

$9.95 from Amazon.com
More information
 
 
Nasty People
by Jay Carter

$6.36 from Amazon.com
More information
 
 
Nasty Men
by Jay Carter

$6.36 from Amazon.com
More information
 

Child Violence - How to Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Statistic
by Kathy Noll, Author - "Taking the Bully by the Horns"

Did you know that over 6 million boys and 4 million girls are involved in fights every year on school grounds? Many are physically threatened while a large number of students are also robbed.

Bullying has become a very serious "Hot" topic today. It's been in the news, and the theme of several talk shows in the past year. The problem has been around for as long as people have been around, but it's only been recently that we've become aware enough to do something about it.

Mental and physical signs for parents to look for to find out if their child is being bullied include: Cuts, bruises, torn clothing, headaches and/or stomach pains before it's time to go to school, or a reluctance to go to school, poor appetites, poor grades, decline/withdrawal from usual activities, anxiety, not many friends, always loses money, depression, fear, anger, nervousness, and relates better to adults and teachers than children. It also helps to understand the different types of abuse the bully can inflict. This can vary from physical (juvenile violence) to verbal, and include mental control tactics. (Crushing your self-esteem).

The bully's pattern of physical abuse might include: pushing, tripping, slapping, hitting, wrestling, choking, kicking, biting, stealing, and breaking things. (80% of the time bullying becomes physical).

The bully's pattern of verbal abuse might include: twisting your words around, judging you unfairly, missing the point, passing blame, bossing, making you self-conscious, embarrassing you, making you cry, confusing you, and making you feel small so he/she can feel big.

Children between the ages of 5-11 begin using verbal abuse, and are capable of some physical abuse such as fist fighting, kicking, and choking. However, once a child reaches the age of 12, psychological changes take place and the bullying becomes more violent. This might include the use of weapons and sexual abuse.

Murder between children was up 35% in 1997. Today's 3, 4, and 5 year-olds could grow up to be a generation of serial killers. Some signs to watch for in younger children include setting fires, and torturing animals. Usually bullies come from middle-income families that do not monitor their activities. The parents of bullies are either extremely tolerant and permissive, and allow them to get away with everything, or physically aggressive and abusive.

However, the parents are not always the cause. There are many very loving and caring parents who do not understand what went wrong. Other reasons why kids slip into their "bully suits" might include violence on tv/movies, and the influence of "bully" friends.

You can't watch your child while he/she is at school, so there is the possibility of him/her hanging out with a child (or children) of negative influence. Sometimes kids admire bullies for their strength, or befriend them so as to stay on their good side!

So if you're a wonderful parent knocking yourself for what you did wrong, understand what a strong influence other peers can have on your child. Bullies need to be in control of situations, and enjoy (gain power from) inflicting injury on others. They are not committed to their school work or teachers and may also show a lack of respect towards their families. Usually bigger and stronger than other children their own age, bullies believe that their anger and violent behavior is justified. They see threats where none exist out of paranoia, or fear of facing reality.

The bully might lash out at people because he's (or she's) angry about something. Maybe someone in his life is bullying him. He could be hurting from abuse he received in the past, or maybe he grew up observing those around him using violence as a means of settling differences.

Sometimes jealousy is the culprit. He needs to feel better about himself in order to change, and to stop bullying.

Or, in a worse case scenario, he might actually be a sociopath, in which case he/she would need to get professional help.

What can parents do to prevent their children from getting bullied? Tell your children to walk or play with friends, not alone, and to avoid alleys and empty buildings, especially after dark. Make a list with the child as to where they are allowed to go, and places/phone numbers where they can get help.

Know your child's friends and make sure that everyone understands your view of teasing and violence. Maintain a trusting, open communication with your child while teaching him/her to be both strong and kind.

If your child is a victim, he needs to know that he's ok, and not the one with the problem. Have him tell his school guidance counselor the name of the bully who is victimizing him. Or you might try talking to the principal or his teachers directly. And if you know the parents of the bully, you might try confronting them as well. However, there's a good chance they'll either be in denial, or be as unconcerned as their child.

If physical abuse is the problem, and you're afraid of angering the bully (revenge), tell the teacher, or whomever, not to pass on your or your child's name while settling the situation unless it's absolutely necessary. There's a good chance he's victimizing other children as well, and won't need to know exactly who busted him.

Children who use violence to resolve conflicts, grow up to be adults who use violence to resolve conflicts. However, if a child is backed up against a wall, or into a corner, then he obviously needs to defend himself and should not stand there while getting pounded. He could walk (or run) away. But in order to escape conflict in the first place, the child should ignore, or avoid the bully. Don't play with (or for older kids "hang out" with) the bullies, and don't play or hang out "near" them. Teach your child to only fight back if he/she *needs* to defend himself - - as a last resort.

Young people need to believe in themselves in order to feel better. (self-esteem) Not by winning a fight, or even being part of a fight that he/she didn't initiate. In order to be a strong person, you have to learn what to say at the right time, and believe in what you are saying. ("I won't fight you because it is wrong" or "This isn't what friendship is about") Walking away from the fight, knowing you are the *better* person, is a lot healthier for the body and mind.

If verbal abuse is the problem, your child could try confronting the bully himself. Get him alone. Bullies like to show off by embarrassing you in front of a group of people. They might not be so tough without a crowd. Tell your child to be firm, stick up for himself, and tell the bully, "I don't like what you're doing to me, and I want you to stop."

If the child is old enough to reason, have him tell the bully how it feels to be bullied. Don't stress what the bully did, or the accusations might make him defensive. Then he'd be less likely to listen. If he's willing to listen at all, he might be willing to change. However, if he's unwilling to listen and starts getting nasty, your child is better off staying away from him, or ignoring him. But if his verbal abuse turns into threats, notify someone in authority.

Sometimes having things/property stolen victimizes a child. Putting your child's name on everything is an important thing to do. This means each and every crayon! It also helps to not allow him/her to take things of any major importance or value to school. Again, if nothing else works, have the bully reported.

For the past 10 years child on child violence has been increasing. Physical abuse, sexual harassment and robbery have driven many victims to substance abuse or suicide.



If you'd like to order a copy of "Taking the Bully by the Horns" by Kathy Noll & Dr. Carter, to teach your child the skills he/she needs to handle bullies, and maintain a healthy self-esteem, please send $14.95 (this includes S. & H.) to:

Kathy Noll
3300 Chestnut St.
Reading, PA 19605
E-mail address: kthynoll@aol.com

To learn more about these timely topics, please visit: http://kathynoll.com


Be sure to read Kathy Noll's chat July 8, 1998, August 2000's featured live chat from the Teachers.Net Archive!


 
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