Classroom Circles/Meetings are a critical component to the success of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), Mindfulness, and Restorative Practices. An OBPP research study has shown that teachers who systematically used class meetings in their anti-bullying work obtained larger reductions in bullying problems one year after introduction of OBPP compared to those who used class meetings to a lesser degree or not at all. When planning and leading your class meetings, keep the following in mind:
- CIRCLE: It works best to have students sit in a circle or half circle. This allows for more intimate interactions and eye contact among students. If age-appropriate for your students and if time is a concern, practice the process of getting into a circle before you start having class meetings. This may mean moving chairs or pushing desks to the side. You may want to challenge the class to get safely and quietly into a circle within a certain period of time, say, one minute.
- CONSISTENT: Class meetings should be held regularly, preferably at least once a week. Meetings for Elementary aged students could last 15 to 30 minutes. It works best to have the meetings at a specific time, preferably at the end of the week so you can talk about how the week went and make plans for the next week. Friday meetings work well, but not the last period of the day. You might need to occasionally reschedule your meeting if something comes up that needs immediate attention during your regularly scheduled time.
Keep in mind that Olweus classroom meetings, mindfulness, and restorative practices go hand in hand, which you can see in the video here:
For questions about classroom circles or the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, please contact us at anytime.
Keep Calm and Circle Up!