We conduct academic courses for future teachers in teacher colleges. We also offer training to in-service teachers. In this course they study up-to-date theories about violence in schools and its causes. They also acquire tools for non-violent resistance and for community building in class. We encourage teachers to collaborate with their peers and to interact with parents, thus becoming a model of a living community for their students in class.
The training provided not only equips teachers with methods and techniques for dealing with violence and aggression in the classrooms, but also provides the possibility for participants to try out and discuss these methods. In addition, the participants can improve and develop their skills in leading groups. The program of the training is based on the “Empowering Children Model”.
Matzmichim provides a prep course for the teachers, to provide them with the tools and material they will need for the class activity. The main teachers training is “on the job” training, where they get to watch our trainers work with the class and experience the Matzmichim approach in action. As a follow up to the workshop, our staff makes sure to continue supporting teachers, by supplying them with further materials and advice.
In order to reach a holistic change in the lives of the students, it is important to also include their parents in the process of change. It is important that parents support the values of non-violence, respect and caring for each other, so that the pro-social behavior of the kids and youths is not only promoted at school, but also in their everyday lives.
During the project, we therefore offer parents interesting and important lectures about violence, boycott, cursing, humiliation in schools and virtual violence. We present ways to deal with these phenomena by encouraging children to behave in a more pro-social way. We also explain to them how schools can be transformed into a nurturing environment.
In addition to the lectures for parents, we offer a parents´ day where children and parents come together. Through parent-child activities both get to know more about empowerment. For example, parents are guided to talk to their children about their own strengths, and how they can support others who are weaker at these areas in life. In turn, the children also reflect on His/her own strengths, and how he/she can support others.
We want to support and strengthen as many kids and youth in Israel, with our non-violent conflict resolution methods. That is the reason why we started to offer courses not only for teachers and parents, but also for external professionals like staff members of the national program “City Without Violence”. Through sharing our knowledge with other professionals, our scope of influence is not only limited to our fifteen trainers but also contributes to a rethinking about violence and its acceptance within the society.