Richard Biren’s anti-bullying, anti-teasing books have attitude. Positive attitude, that is.
“There are a lot of schools dealing with those issues,” said Biren, a retired Colorado elementary and secondary school counselor. “I thought it would be better to focus on the positive — being a good person.”
With that fresh angle in mind, he dove into publishing, creating several books to equip teachers with strategies for managing tough issues, including Try Kindness, Na Na Na [on teasing], I’m Telling On You and Managing School Conflict.
“Good character formation in children — that’s a viable thing to do, yet sometimes it’s a difficult thing for teachers to fit into their curriculum,” he said.
Biren’s strategies can help. One of his tried-and-true activities involves showing 3rd graders two boxes — one nicely wrapped, and a smaller, worn one with holes and tape, and asking them to open one. When the kids discover that the big box contains worn-out gym shoes and the little box has candy, the class can discuss judging people based on appearance, too — and the lesson stuck.
“I’ve had kids who said years later, ‘I remember when you did that,’” he said.
To order, visit Mar*Co Publishing.