Conflict Resolution: An Opportunity for Growth

At Orchard Valley, we view conflict as an opportunity for healing and growth. When supporting the resolution of conflicts, we seek to address the root cause of misbehavior and heal it at the source, rather than using force to suppress it. Through facilitated conversations, students find the impetus for change within themselves instead of through punitive measures.

An important part of the Social Harmony curriculum, based on the work of Kim John Payne and Non Violent Communication (NVC), involves training 8th graders in conflict resolution and social harmony stewardship. This offers an opportunity for teens to be a positive source for change and to make an important, positive impact on the lives of younger children.

In an attempt to introduce this training, the 8th graders are engaging in important conversations. The concepts of bullying are discussed in detail: in the field, the definition refers to as repetitive (some disagree) behavior, with the intent to harm, and where there is a power imbalance. Students are reviewing the four forms of bullying (physical, verbal, relational, and cyber) and bring insightful realizations on how insidious bullying can be.

Following these discussions, the 8th graders reviewed the Social Harmony conflict resolution model. Titled "How to Feel Nice with All Folks," this model offers an opportunity for participants to hear each other out, through listening and mirroring perceptions, feelings, and needs, as well as to join efforts in coming up with strategies, make amends when necessary, and making a plan for the future.

Teachers and staff are trained at various levels to support healthy conflict resolutionsthrough conversation, finding out what students need and assisting them in finding working solutions. To more fully benefit from this program, parents are encouraged to attend workshops and learn more about how to utilize its methods at home. A healthy community is created through communal efforts, and everyone's support is greatly appreciated.

We'll announce an upcoming workshop after the holiday break. Please contact Paule for more information and with any questions you may have.