Respect seems to be one of those universal subjects to which nearly everyone can
relate. As a school climate leader and facilitator, it is important that you are able to tell powerful, meaningful, personal stories about respect and disrespect and get your audiences to do so as well.
We have found that personal, real-life stories that relate to school climate, respect, school change can provide a facilitator with the ability to move an audience’s heart, mind, and ultimately their behavior. Good stories that evoke empathy, emotion, and personal connectedness with the topic can be more powerful than citing a hundred research studies! As a facilitator you will need to frame your own respect stories. The best ones are those that help people make connections to their own truths and experiences. The next section will provide you with an example about how stories can work to illustrate important generalizations about respect.
On the other hand, stories alone aren’t enough. It is also critical that a school climate facilitator speak from a place of expertise and knowledge about the subject. The longer and more challenging section that follows will provide you with a thumbnail review or synopsis of some of the more recent and seminal research and scholarship in this field which has formed the foundation of the SafeMeasures(TM) process.
Our facilitation guide (available through our office at www.theCSCL.com) is not intended to substitute for your own reading and research in these fields, but rather to point you in the direction of some important research and writing that has deepened our understanding of these issues and which may help you to do so as well.
You must know something about the research on respect, school climate best practices, and be able to provide intellectual justification for the strategies and activities you will use as you do the work of going through the SafeMeasures (TM) process and that you will ask others to try to use as well... the facilitation guide is there to guide you!