By the time the Peace Day Challenge occurred on September 21st, our Kindergarten class was already well on their way to becoming peaceful problem solvers. Since the first day of school, the children have been introduced to peaceful conflict resolution, which is a process that involves students working together to de-escalate, resolve, and process their conflicts in a peaceful way.
For the past 26 years that I have been working at Hollywood Schoolhouse, I have discovered that one of the best ways to create harmony in the classroom is to provide students with the tools needed to manage conflict peacefully. It’s not a secret that children who are “peacemakers” are better able to solve problems, get along with others, and create a positive atmosphere and classroom community.
We decided to use a classroom tool, the peace stick, as part of our school wide challenge to complete as many acts of peace as possible within a week. The children did an amazing job applying what they learned. They demonstrated valuable skills like empathy, active listening, and understanding other points of view. They enthusiastically came up with strategies to make things right in a fair way, while respecting others. Conflicts became teachable moments, and it was incredible to witness the effort and success the children displayed. Although the challenge has passed, we continue to live by our pledge to set a good example for others to follow and to spread peace each day!