Teacher are confronted daily with the challenge of forming a group of diverse students into a peaceful cooperative classroom where everyone can learn and thrive. This is not easy to do in a world in which the media glorifies violence and nations settle differences by going to war. While a teacher alone may be able to make a positive difference in the classroom, even more can happen when like-minded teachers come together to work as a cohesive group. Such a group can address broader issues such as bullying, racial, ethnic, religious and gender bias, and conflict resolution. When this happens, change spreads from the classroom to the school and to the community.
1. Start with a passion. What problem or issue currently faces teachers in your school? Is it bullying, bias, or a willingness to accept war as the answer?
2. Gather like minds together. You may already know colleagues who share your passion. Invite them to join you in forming a group. Don't hesitate to solicit members by putting a letter in colleagues' mailboxes. Many times fellow teachers may believe they are alone in their beliefs. Click here for a sample letter you can copy and use.
3. Meet regularly. Set up a time before or after school when the group can come together to discuss, share, carry out research, and make plans for activities to try.
4. Share what your school is doing... It is important for teachers and students to share what they are doing. We can all learn from each other. To post a brief write up or lesson plan of an activity your group is doing or has done or a lesson plan or a book review - click on PROJECT SUBMISSION (at right) and describe what you are doing. You can also attach jpeg photos that are no more than 2" by 3" in size.