Nerys Ghemor wrote:
I also have little faith in the ability of school employees to handle bullies. After too many times of being told it was my fault that other students' behavior hurt me ("grow up and get a thicker skin"), I find it hard to believe that "self-policing" methods would actually create anything other than a Lord of the Flies style mini-society that many teachers are content to ignore because it keeps kids in line (the wrong way, of course) without their having to do any work.
I don't think you're quite understanding the method I'm describing. It really is much more complex than that, and much better. Like I said, the difference between classes where students have been taught with this approach or similar approaches is palpable. It's hard to describe if you haven't experienced it, I guess. But I really would encourage reading about it, it is not only effective anecdotally, but the scientific research (admittedly, it's only just beginning to be studied) is supporting teachers', parents', psychologists', and administrators' anecdotal claims that SEL has a significant positive effect on behavior and academics, and that it significantly decreases instances of bullying and feelings of unhappiness and being unsafe at school. It certainly has nothing to do with teachers ignoring problems or deferring responsibility. In fact, it requires huge investments of time and energy on part of the teachers.