This week, some students at Park Elementary School told the school board about the social contract that students created with teachers. The social contract is one of the key pieces of a program called Capturing Kids’ Hearts that is being implemented throughout Great Bend USD 428.
According to the creators of CKH, the contract is built on four basic questions:
• How do you want to be treated by me (teacher or leader)?
• How do you want to be treated by each other?
• How do you think I (teacher or leader) want to be treated by you?
• How do you want to treat each other when there is conflict?
Sixth-grader Yaneli Garcia said she really likes the Rock, Paper, Scissors rule that students implemented as part of the process. The first step to resolving a conflict may be as simple as playing a game of RPS and then letting the winner go first. The other person also gets a turn.
The students also believe in showing respect for one another. If someone’s feelings get hurt, it is OK to say “foul,” and expect a more positive response. Fourth-grader Taycee Gray said she like the “foul rule” because it helps students get along.
Fifth-grader Devin Olivas said the students, not the teachers, got to create the contract rules, and he liked having a say in what the rules are.
It would be simplistic thinking to expect adults could solve their disputes with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, but the concept of a social contract should work for all kinds of relationships. How do we want to be treated and how do think others want to be treated by us?
Many playground disputes can be easily solved if everyone knows and obeys the rules. It helps if they had a say in creating the rules in the first place. What kind of social contract would help adults get along better?