After reading Jeanette's blog Monday about more mediators in public office, it got me thinking about where else mediators may be helpful--and schools came to mind.
Of course, school psychologists can be extremely helpful in resolving conflict between students, between students and teachers, and between faculty. But, they're often busy helping students with emotional struggles and family dynamics. If mediators or conflict resolution specialists were placed in schools, I can only imagine how many conflicts could end with resolution--instead of bullying or, worse, physical fighting.
My two oldest children (girls) are in 2nd and 4th grade, and, although they're learning about conflict resolution at home (due to sibling fighting!), I feel it would be a great asset to have someone at school who can help them through what I'm discovering are very tumultuous friendships. One day (or hour), they have a best friend. The next, they're out of "the group."
I say it's never too early to help kids learn how to resolve their own conflicts--or learn how to seek out someone who can be an impartial third party. Perhaps the conflict resolution specialist is just on contract or hired as-needed. Still, I would feel a whole lot better if I knew what I'm teaching at home would be reinforced at school.