Do you recall when, ages ago, I attended the TCA conference? I still have 5 sessions that I REALLY wanted to share. I decided I’d share one of my favorites with you today. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I’ll probably start using this lesson with my 3rd graders starting next week. And on another fact, I am presenting about this session at my Catholic Counselor’s Meeting Feb. 15th. Writing this post is probably going to help me get my thoughts for that presentation organized (or just emphasize how much more planning I need to do).
Moving From Bullies to Buddies
Presented by: Mark Lukert
Let me begin by telling you that if this man (Mark Lukert) was still a principal, I would travel through churning waters, climb up mountains, and move across the country to work for him. He is absolutely amazing! If you get a chance to hear him speak, DO IT! If you go over to his website, you will see all sorts of professional development presentations he gives. You can get him to come talk to your staff, you can even get him to come talk to your students.
So, what’s the big deal? I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll start by telling you that if you ask him to present at your school, he will bring his dog, Buddy. Buddy is the inspiration for all of this “Bullies to Buddies” movement. It’s not a program, it’s a way of thinking!
Mark Lukert emphasizes the importance of each person within the school.
He expressed on multiple occasions that, “Every person in the school family is important and everyone must work together to make the school a great place to learn.”
With this belief, Mark adopted a poodle, Buddy, and Buddy soon became the front runner in Mark’s “No Bullying Efforts.” Buddy became a safe person to cry with, a friend to listen, and a someone to enjoy your lunch with. Children in the school would come to Mark’s office at all times of the day to visit with Buddy. Buddy became a beacon of responsibility, of good behavior, of kind friendships. Buddy even has a book about his adventures, “Prince Buddy of Lakeside.”
It is through this book that I plan to spread Buddy’s message. You see I can’t very well bring Ocean to school.
As nicely behaved as he is, I’m sure someone over here is allergic to him and the last thing I need in my “No Bullying Effort” is a lawsuit over a dog allergy. So, I figured why not share Buddy’s story and apply activities to his lessons.
But, let me be honest, I can give you a quick run-down, I can show you some of Mark’s slides, I can even show you a picture of Buddy, but believe you me, NOTHING compares to actually hearing this guy present in person (and seeing/petting/oogling over Buddy)! Maybe a good start is buying Buddy’s book, then find Mark at a TCA, TCEA, ACA, ASCA conference, and then convince your principal to get him to your school for staff development (this is the step I’m at).
Trust me, he is worth diving off a cliff for!