Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Conflict Resolution program was started to teach students how to resolve their conflicts in a peaceful way without having to go to a adult to settle the problem. Students learned leadership skills and had extensive training after school to develop their skills. Students learned to listen and develop empathy for others. Conflict Managers had to give up some of their play time either at recess or at lunch to do their job. In the photo to the left Bernadette Muhlestein supervises conflict manager training.

All the students in every class were taught to give an "I message" to students when they had a problem on the playground or in the classroom. When the program was in fully utilized, there were about 70 conflict managers.

Bernadette Muhlestein and Joan Logue started Conflict Resolution together. According to Joan, "We took a class and had inservice in the process. We had a guidebook for the exact process students were required to follow. As I remember, the Conlict Manager would see a problem, ask them to step into the circle and then say, "What happened" to each of them, one at a time. Then after listening, they would say, "How did that make you feel?" After their answer, the Conflict Manager would ask, "What will make it better now?". If they answer "Don't do that again" or something then the Conflict Manager asks the other if that's OK. If it isn't then they can go to the office to solve it. But if they want it over fast, then they all agree, shake hands and go on their way. And it worked!!!! The Conflict Manager kids were chosen from the higher grades and trained continually. We did a lot of role playing in the class which was always after school. It was a great program!!"

Role playing

The above photo shows Greg Snelling training his Conflict Managers. After Joan retired, Greg and Bernadette did the program. As of 2010 Greg Snelling and Paul Hornbook are the Conflict Resolution teachers. At the end of the the school year all the conflict managers with their conflict teachers went on a special field trip as a reward for all their hard work.

Conflict Managers at Work

Joan and Greg at the Conflict Manager Pizza Party

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