Dr Bill Rogers' Conference Presentation Anti-Bullying Network
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  A description of reality    

So I called these guys over, ‘fellas, fellas’, and once you’ve got the eye contact, drop the voice to a more measured, ‘can I see you for a sec, see you over here’, ‘what did we do, what?’ You see, when I called them, they weren’t happy, they wanted to get off home, when I called them they should have wheeled their bikes over and said, ‘yes Mr Rogers, we’re available for some brief disciplinary intervention, from you (audience laughs), as a relaxedly vigilant leader, in your dreams’. Anyway, they came over, they put their bikes down, I said ‘fellas, my name is Bill Rogers, I’m working with the school, I said I’m a visiting teacher, a senior teacher’ (audience laughs), no I didn’t do that, tempting though isn’t it, cocky rubbish, leave cocky rubbish out of it, you’re a leader, a behaviour leader. I said ‘fellas you’re riding your bikes on school property’.

That’s what I mean by descriptive reality, you raise, this is crucial, when you are working with middle and upper primary and secondary, you raise their initial brief behavioural awareness, you don’t ask them why they are riding their bikes, or why they are pushing and shoving or whatever it is, or shouting out in class, or butting in or why haven’t they got a pen, or why they are late. I mean you address the lateness and the pen, and the blah, blah, blah but not the why, why can be saved for some counselling situations, one-to-one, but not when there is an audience, and some kids are strutting their attentional stuff. ‘Fellas you are riding your bikes on school property.’ That’s what they hear. As soon as I said that, one of the lads said ‘other teachers don’t care if we ride our bikes, other teachers just let us, and nothing’.

The kids, they weren’t nasty, they were just fed-up, end of the day and whinging, because I’d asked them to move fifteen metres towards me and I’ve held them up by about a minute. And when he said ‘other teachers don’t care if we ride our bikes, and let us as long as we don’t crush any Australia fauna or flora on the way’ (audience laughs). Or words to that, here we go again for the fifteenth thousandth time effect. When he said ‘other teachers don’t care’, I agreed with him. Partially agreed, partially agreeing is a difficult skill, but it’s a gift to the kid, or the group of kids.

A description of reality