I worked in a resource position for two years before changing districts and job descriptions. I am now a split level teacher for my own full classroom of bilingual gems. The difference between resource and and classroom teacher is stark. I knew for a fact that in my old district I was not as effective as I could have been. It has been proven to me tenfold as I watch my students grow and develop and I am there 100% of the time to track this progress and ensure continuity.
This year my school adopted the C.A.R.E. program which is an anti-bullying program. To be perfectly honest, I feel like "bullying" is an antiquated word and, while the concepts apply, the actual program is frankly...lame. The amazingly awesome thing is that it opens up the opportunity for a guaranteed half hour of "family" discussion time every week. This time has made a vast difference when building a classroom community and the ways that my students interact with each other is at times awe inspiring.
For example, when I was having trouble with my girls being cliquey and self interested, we had a classroom meeting that focused on inclusion. The next day my girl students came to me thrilled with themselves because they had decided to do a "secret Santa" that included every single girl in my class and had already drawn names during the lunch hour.
At the New Year I taught the students the meaning of the term "New Years Resolution." I then asked them each to make their own for the second half of the school year. They shared these resolutions with the rest of the class and are accountable to their classmates for keeping these resolutions.
The other wonderful byproduct of the C.A.R.E. program is that it has given the students a school-wide vocabulary and common understanding to draw from. I can't explain how important it is for students to feel like they are a part of something that is bigger than themselves and this program has given them a vehicle for that very sentiment.
Whether it be this anti-bullying program or another school-wide initiative to affect positive change...I am grateful for it's existence and would promote a similar situation in any school that is lacking a united direction.