Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday, February 29, and many schools in District 91 have been getting ready by working on social skills that encourage respectful play all year round.
At Evelyn Dickson Elementary, Ms. Jo John’s Grade 7 class is taking on a school wide initiative called bucketfilling, to teach positive character traits. What is bucketfilling? Everybody has an invisible bucket and when it contains good things we feel good about ourselves.
“It started out with my class,” teacher Jo John says, “they wanted to do something for Pink T-shirt Day.”
John said the school was also in search of a way to make the school culture more positive, so the good things would overshadow any negative things.
She said that’s when they discovered the books of Carol McLeod, based on the teachings of Merrill Lundgrin.
“I took the ideas to my class and they did skits and presentations,” the Grade 7 teacher notes, “this week we worked on making other people feel good, we had assemblies to talk about it with the rest of the school and we read stories.”
She said she likes the analogy of the bucket because it fits the many ways people interact.
“How there’s a lid on your bucket that you can use to control feeling good, even if someone dips in,” John notes.
This lid gives the person ownership over it, though some people are so anxious they don’t even let compliments in, so their lid may be on too tight.
The three rules for bucket filling are:
1. Be a bucketfiller – every time you do or say something caring or thoughtful, you add good thoughts and feeling to someone’s bucket.
2. Don’t Dip – try not to say or do anything rude or mean that will dip into someone else’s bucket to remove the good thoughts or feelings.
3. Use your lid – guard and protect the good thoughts and feelings inside your bucket with your lid. The lid is the thoughtful, clear thinking part of yourself that protects what is in your bucket, and helps you understand that the unkind, offensive behavior is the other person having a problem, not you.
Sinkut View Elementary’s school theme this month focused on respect. Their “eagle focus” for February was, treat others with respect.
“It is important that respect happens daily at our school, on the buses, playground, hallway and classrooms,” Sinkut View Principal, Wade Fitzpatrick wrote for the school’s newsletter, “Respect is not just a right, it is a responsibility.”