Children are striving to make connections with each other hundreds of times a day. These connections occur in a huge variety of ways, from lunchtime conversation, to pairing on a social studies task, to dancing together in music. These interactions are complex indeed, and while we may be “wired” for these interactions, it should come as no surprise that negotiating their complexity is not innate. It seems like the Middle School educator’s life is at times surfeited by conflict resolution discussions that emerge because connection has failed to take place successfully. Connecting well is known as being “socially intelligent,” and we are currently addressing this topic at our Tuesday assemblies.
I sought to approach the topic in assembly by sharing short video “playlets” where feelings are hurt in an failure to connect successfully. I first showed a short video where teachers were the actors, discussing the “villain” of the video, and her reasons for saying things that ultimately hurt anothers’ feelings.