Know Your ClassmatesTM
Mini Fact: Know Your Classmates Day is Friday, Oct. 26.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The Mini Page talked with experts at Beyond Differences, an organization that works to stop bullying before it happens, about a program called Know Your ClassmatesTM.
Although Know Your Classmates is a program for middle schoolers, its messages are important for elementary students to learn, too.
What is social isolation?
Some kids feel left out or invisible when they’re at school. They might feel lonely and different from everyone else. This is called social
When you think about it, we’re all different from each other!
What makes you, you?
Your family’s traditions
The things you like to do
If you make a list of these and other parts of your identity, then compare it to another student’s, they might be very different. Or you might have a lot in common. But instead of being afraid of or mean to people who seem different, we can get to know them and learn about their backgrounds and traditions.
Who belongs? Who doesn’t?
Have you ever been left out? Howdid that make you feel? The Know Your Classmates program asks kids to think about what it means to “belong.”
Would you rather be part of the “in” group or be an outsider?
Do you go along with others who exclude certain classmates?
How would you feel after a week, a month or a whole school year of being isolated from others in your class?
What are stereotypes?
A stereotype is an idea that people have about a group or thing that may not be true. For example, some people think all kids with Asian ancestors are really smart.
But sometimes stereotypes are hurtful. Sometimes people judge others unfairly based on race, gender or other characteristics before they even know the person. These judgments are called biases.
Do you think you’ve ever been stereotyped by others? Were the stereotypes positive or negative?
Do you have biases against certain people or groups?
How can you overcome your biases?