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Teaching Empathy

This article from Parent.co is right on! Don’t miss these teachable moments – they are so important to developing empathy in your child.


Bystander in the News

This is an old article about a performance in East Hanover Middle School, but I just came across it and thought I would share!


Making a Lasting Impact

Today, a former student of mine sent me a like to an article entitled “To The High School Teacher Who Inspired Me.” She was a student of mine over 12 years which I can hardly believe. Although I taught her in middle school, she felt this article still applied:) It is a beautiful article talking about how there is that one teacher who’s class you can’t wait to get to, who always seems to understand, who teaches you more than just the curriculum and who makes you a better, more well rounded person. To think that she thought this of me makes everything I have ever done worthwhile. It is so important to make time to listen to children; to take the focus off of yourself and to really listen and really care what they are trying to say to you. It really is amazing how strongly middle school children are to someone who listens to them and respects what they have to say. In my four years as a teacher and the ten years I have worked in bully prevention,I have learned how easy it is get middle school students to open up. The simple trick: listen.  The icing on top: care. Kids that age have so many things they are trying to sort out, constantly on an every changing basis. Providing them an opportunity to speak and be heard is so powerful. It provides them validation that their feelings and concerns are real and valid.

My heart was warmed upon receiving that email today because I now know that my former student still thinks about the time we had together in her 8th grade year. I know that she realized I cared and still do about her. I know that she was listening to what I was saying and took my words to heart. What more amazing feeling in there than to know you made a difference for someone?

Cyber Bullying Tips for Young Children

Children are younger and younger when they begin to navigate the Internet without parent supervision. In this increasingly dangerous scenario, it is so important for parents to constantly check in with their children and remind them of some valuable Internet safety rules. As part of a project for the educational website, Abcya.com, I created a story called the Cyber Five. The Cyber Five is a list of five, easy to follow guidelines for children regarding Internet usage and safety. Going over these rules will help your child know how to better use the Internet and how to encourage online safety among their peers. Here are the Cyber Five:

  • Never share personal information
  • Don’t download alone
  • Don’t respond to a bully
  • Copy and paste; save it and print
  • If you feel uncomfortable with what you see, tell an adult immediately

Instilling in your children these five simple reminders will keep safer and more aware online.

Raising Kind and Empathetic Children

I recently came across this article about prioritizing empathy as we raise our children. I thought it was spot on about how the current trend is to worry so much about the feelings of your own child that you teach your child that only his/her feelings matter – not the feelings of everyone else around him/her. Raising children with an awareness about how their deeds and actions effect the lives of the people around them is paramount; without that understanding, children will continue to ignore the plights of those around them in regards to bullying. Check out the article below:)


Bystander In The News!

After a recent performance of the Bystander Box program in Pompton Lakes, NJ this article was published in the paper recognizing their bully prevention efforts. Go Pompton Lakes!!


Central Regional Middle School

Performing in the cafeteria as we battle to have our voices heard is always a challenge. This group rose to that challenge and presented a powerful and moving performance! Hopefully, they continue to be great role models in their school and positively impact the lives of the people around them.

Crossroads Middle School South Brunswick

Crossroads Middle School is a unique situation where they have two campuses who provide a cast. That means that I train two groups to perform and debrief in the amount of time I usually have to train one group! The pace is frantic but the results are always fantastic! Way to go South Brunswick – thank you for being, focused, brave and powerful!

Grover Middle School

Another great year at Grover Middle School! The cast was outstanding and motivational as usual. The parent performance was especially good as the students always have the most powerful things to say to the adults. Way to go Grover!

Bystander Box – The Perfect Option For Your School!

The Bystander Box program gives you the opportunity to have the acclaimed Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy program at your school on your own terms and for a fraction of the cost! Here’s what the latest Bystander Box user had to say about the program:

My district ordered the Bystander Box and asked me to train our Peer Leaders.  Everything in the box was so neat and organized. Jillian wrote out each day, step by step on how to implement the program.  We spent 2 hours a day for 5 days training.  The students performed at our Annual Community Night of Respect, during the school day for the entire student body and were asked to perform again at one of our Board of Education meetings.  The program is so impactful and powerful. I would recommend schools to order the box kit so that they can have an easy to use, powerful program at their school.

-Gillian George East Hanover Middle School

Every student deserves the opportunity to make a positive impact in their school community. Bystander will give your students a voice – a voice that stands up to bullying!