Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

Making RM Bacon a Bully-Free Zone


bully free zone


Bullying is a hot topic issue in education.  Students learn best when they are in an environment in which they feel safe.  You can not feel safe if you are being bullied.  Therefore, it is a very high priority at RM Bacon Elementary School that we stop bullying in its tracks.

All staff members have been trained in how to spot, report, and respond to bullying when we see it.  The problem is bullies can be tricky and we don’t always see the behaviors.  Students also need to be trained so that they have the confidence to stand up for others and report what they are seeing.  We take bullying VERY seriously.  When bullying is reported it is investigated by our HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying) team.  This team consists of our guidance counselor, security guard, PBIS (positive behavior in schools) aide, and our principal.  Often the investigation ends with a positive outcome.  If the investigation proves that bullying exists, a plan of action is put into place including counseling, monitoring, and support for both the victim and bully.

We will be working with the CAP (Child Abuse Prevention) Team this Friday and next Monday to learn about bullying.  Students will learn about how to use their words wisely so as to not hurt others. They will also learn about different strategies to use when they feel that they are being treated unfairly.

How can you help?  Today bullying doesn’t only occur face to face.  Cyber bullying is a huge issue.  Please be aware of what your child is doing online or on their phones.  Texting mean messages has the same effect as saying them out loud.  Monitor your child’s internet usage.  Ask for passwords and usernames to keep tabs.  If they are on social media, insist on them including you as a “friend” or “follower.”  Below is a video defining cyber bullying and how you can help your child if they find themselves in this situation:

Here is a short music video that shows how bullying can impact a child and how having others stand up and speak out can change the direction of the bullying and give the child the confidence and support they need to stand up to the bully in an appropriate way. REMEMBER, BULLYING BACK IS NOT THE ANSWER!

Inspirational People Remind Us to Be Kind To All


Our current read aloud novel is a biography of the amazing Helen Keller.  She has inspired so many by overcoming odds stacked steeply against her to not only live life but live life well.  Helen Keller was born “normal.”  She was born a child with perfect vision and hearing.  Very early in life she became ill and a fever caused brain swelling that took away her sense of sight and hearing.  For a long time she was trapped in a dark, scary, tricky world.  Her parents were able to secure a teacher for her, Annie Sullivan, who unlocked the door to Helen’s world and the rest as they say is history.  Her story has so inspired a few of my students that they wrote the rest of my blog entry for me!  Meet our guest bloggers!

Julianna  is very intrigued by Helen Keller’s story and infact has begun reading her own Helen Keller book at home.

I like the book about Helen Keller because I like learning how she learned how to speak.  I like to see how Annie came up with ways to teach Helen.  I have read about 5 books about Helen Keller.  I have always loved learning about how she learned to do everything she could do.


Tykia shares Julianna’s admiration for Helen Keller and composed the following blog entry:

I like Helen Keller because she’s amazing!  She was deaf and blind.  I feel so bad for her.  Then she learned to speak.  Helen Keller is an awesome girl.  She was blind and deaf and couldn’t talk, but then she learned how to talk.  She is amazing!


Angelita agrees with the other ladies that Helen is simply amazing!

I like Helen Keller because she is interesting to me.  Helen amazes me how she learned to speak.  When she speaks it is not clear, but you can understand her.  She uses her hand to feel what the other person is talking about.  She smiles and makes feelings with her face.  Helen is a great and famous person to learn about. 


We watched the following clip today when we reached the part in her biography where she has learned to speak:


We have had many discussions in class about acceptance of others.  One of my cousins posted a link to an amazing video about the power our words have.  Please take a minute to watch it and speak to your kids about acceptance, bullying, and thoughtful words. 


We Welcome Visitors for Wellness Week


Make good choices!

This week is national Wellness Week in schools.  We are participating in spreading the word that drugs and alcohol are not for us!  This week we are also spending some time reflecting on bullying.  We have discussed how it has effected us, makes us feel, and why we need to work together to stop it!  We have had many special visitors and assemblies this week along with daily color days and prizes for wearing our Wellness Week buttons.  Our assebly today was called Steered Straight.  We had speakers who have learned the hard way that drugs, gangs, and wrong choices can limit the opportunities we have for our futures. 



One of the other activites we participated in this week was a large art project displayed in our foyer.  Each class was asked to take strips of fabric and write how bullying has effected them or ways they could help to end bullying.   Once we wrote our messages on the strips of fabric we weaved them together with other classes to show that we are bound together to but a stop to bullying.  Some of our comments were that bullying made us feel sad, depressed or like we weren’t worth anything.  Some of us wrote about times we had been bullied.  Others wrote about times they stood up to bullies.  We all agreed that bullying is not the answer and working together respectfully is!

We are Bound to put a STOP to Bullying

Weaving an attitude of respect throughout our school


Mayor Shannon with Mrs. Sinone’s Class








We also had a visit from Mayor Shannon, Millville’s mayor.  In our social studies unit we are learning about the branches and responsibilities of our government.  Mayor Shannon shared his vision for Millville with us, including his ultimate goal of adding a much needed recreation center to our town.  While that goal may be way down the road he has accomplished another goal of his during his term- helping to solve our feral cat problem.  We also disccussed what qualifications one must have to become a mayor, the responsibilities of a mayor, and his favorite and least favorite parts of the job.  For the record he loves spending time with our youth and visiting schools and does not like balancing what needs to be done with his goal to not raise taxes.       

  Mayor Shannon answered so many of our questions during his question and answer period.  He encouraged our students to have a positive outlook on life and always strive to see the good in all situations.  He also advised us to be good citizens and have pride in our town.  “Be litter critters.  Pick up litter while you are walking around our town and parks.  Make sure your trash makes it into the proper place.

Mayor Shannon answered so many of our questions!

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