Hey, Mark Shepard here with a few thoughts about Bullying Prevention Assemblies for Middle Schools. And notice I didn’t say, “Anti-Bullying Assemblies.” I’m not ‘anti” any one. And the more you scratch the surface of a “bully” the more you realize that any kid who is acting like a bully is more than likely being bullied somewhere else in their life. “Bullying” becomes a process whereby someone attempts to pass along the “hot potato” of pain to someone who seems likely to accept it.
And that’s why this is program will never be finished. It is by necessity a “work in progress” on an issue that is contentious and troubling and that will likely haunt us as a society for as long as we are a society. Because ultimately it’s about people being mean. It’s also about dealing with adversity in ALL it’s forms. And none of us escapes life’s challenges, tests and hardships.
Over the last 30 years of performing my DrumSongStory programs for K-12 schools, I’ve discovered that the key to a great, life changing assembly is endless experimentation and practice. The old saying holds true, “The only way you can avoid dumb mistakes in life is by having experience. And the only way to get experience is by making dumb mistakes.”
One of the challenges I’ve had over the last 5 years of developing The Bully Proof Teen is to have the opportunity to hone this program so that it is “dialed in” beyond any expectations of any audience, no matter what the age. And I am the most demanding “critic” of my own work.
The reason I’ve been capturing as many of these programs on video as possible is to be able to get real time feedback on how I can apply constant and never ending improvement.
It’s close. And it’s getting closer. It’s not yet where I want it to be. But it IS evolving and getting better and better. What I love about it is that it is always changing.
For example, for this last batch of programs I did in Allendale-Farifax Middle School in South Carolina, I’d never thought about the possibility of a music teacher joining me on saxophone for this program… and it was an awesome addition! So I want to shout out to Mr. Nay, the band teacher for his willingness to jam with me on my song “Rain”. The experience in SC also clued me in to the possibility of School Chorus members joining me on my songs. Duh! Never thought of that before. But these kids just jumped right in and sang their hearts out with me.
The video below is a playlist of the full program. Feel free to skip around if you want.
Please understand that it will most likely be different at YOUR school.
Elementary age programs are “easy”. Middle School and High School Programs are perhaps the most challenging audiences to truly “grab” because they are already so inundated with movies, video games and social media.
And that’s exactly why I’ve made a deep personal commitment to reach at least 20,000 Middle and High school students in 2017.
Check out the program and feel free to reach out to me about YOUR audience and YOUR school.
For your planning purposes, I’ll be in Orange County California end of January, Early Feb 2017 as well as March of 2017. I’ll be in the New England and Northeast states of NY, MA, CT, VT, NH, ME, PA, NJ from April through June and September through November.
I’m also willing to fly ANYWHERE in the US and Canada with this program (and I’m offering some serious block booking discounts for groups of schools or districts who commit to 5 or more assemblies) but my schedule is filling up fast, so please use this link to reach out to me right now ok? Thanks!
– Mark Shepard, NLPT