With each new school year, someone on the faculty will invariably say, “Let’s not reinvent the wheel here…” No one says that about Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper (B/SK). We seem to start all over again each and every year.
Over the 20+- years of this blog, no topic has been covered more frequently than B/SK. So, whether you are new to Hyde or could use a refresher, here’s a “greatest hits” take on the subject.
#1: Intro – What is it? From 2011:
#2: BK History – Here’s one that shows that we did not start doing this B/SK thing last week:
#3: Common Resistance – Common initial student reactions to B/SK:
#4: Forgiveness – The irony of B/SK: Although perceived by some as a harsh concept and practice, B/SK works — when it works — because it is fueled by a profound sense of forgiveness.
#5: It’s Wholistic – B/SK must be wired directly and pervasively throughout the school culture and practiced by all participants. It cannot be installed like stereo components.
#6: It’s Complicated: B/SK takes years to understand. (2 Hints: 1) It is less about your “guardian against temptation” and more about your “catapult to greatness.” 2) It’s greatest value is “post-Hyde.”)
#7: My Experience: Sometimes it’s about the help you need but might not want.
#8: Today More Than Ever: Sometimes kids will say, “B/SK is ‘Old School.’ It doesn’t apply to our world.”… I say, today we need it more than ever. Near the end of the article attached to the link below, you will read about three terrifying problems unique to our age that could be diminished significantly by a strong B/SK culture:
- School Violence – Gum-chewing, tardiness, and dress code vs. bullying, cutting, and school shootings
- The New Marijuana – Hiding in the woods to smoke a weak mix of seeds and stems vs. sharing JUULs, some of which are downright lethal, right out in the open… OR… “Vapin’ in the boys’ room.”
- Sexual Abuse – Whether teacher-on-student or student-on-student, one common characteristic seems to accompany all the heart-wrenching cases we read about: Someone knew about it. (And still, you tell me that B/SK is too harsh?)
In order to thrive, all three of the above share one common characteristic: a secretive underground. B/SK, when healthy, makes it hard for that underground to survive and thrive.
B/SK is easily defined: “We help others attain their best.” In the end, if we expect to benefit from it, we cannot reasonably expect to be beneficiaries without committing to also be its contributors.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld