This past summer, Fourth Grade Teacher Sarah Pitcher-Hoffman traveled to Washington, D.C. for a two-day training program to become a certified facilitator of the “Owning Up” program, the new social curriculum for BCD Upper School students. Sarah sat down with MyBCD to talk more about the program and this professional development opportunity.
“There is no doubt that navigating the social waters of the ‘middle school’ years weighs heavily on teens. To work through these issues as a community, and to give our students the perspectives, tools, and strategies they’ll need to deal with conflict and affirm their own self image, we’ve adopted and implemented a new “comprehensive social justice program” for students in Grades 7-9 called ‘Owning Up.’
The Owning Up™ program, created and developed by Rosalind Wiseman, author “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” is based on the premise that social cruelty, degradation, and violence can be deconstructed and understood by examining how our culture teaches boys to be men and girls to be women. Further, it provides a structured program for teaching students to own up and take responsibility — as perpetrators, bystanders, and targets — for unethical behavior.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a two-day training program to become a certified facilitator of the “Owning Up” program. Working in conjunction with Ninth Grade Homeroom Teacher Jesse Howard, we were able to introduce the program this fall to the Upper School in a new block of time set aside in the school day for a social skills curriculum. Students meet every other week in single sex groups with me and Jesse to work on specific issues, and on the alternating weeks meet as a class with their homeroom teachers to discuss issues that complement the work being done in the groups. Other components of the program include media, books, videos, music, role playing, and journaling.
Throughout the school year, the students will be working to:
o Identify and discuss behaviors and attitudes associated with groups, popularity, trust, exclusion and bullying
o Understand anger and learn a strategy to enable students to communicate during conflict
o Understand Cyberbullying and its impact
o Examine how a boy or girls self-image effects behavior and attitudes towards others
o Develop a plan of action when demeaned or someone else is being demeaned
o Recognize pop culture’s influence on behavior and decision making
The idea of ‘owning up’ is for students to own up to their decisions and behavior and as a result become empowered to stand up for themselves and for others. Rosalind’s workshop gives us as teachers, solid, real life material and practical tools to work with, not just abstract ideas.”
For more information on the Owning Up program, click here.