“Good Behavior” is taught, learned, practiced and remains forever

In the schools of the Augustinian Recollects in Spain there are programs to encourage school coexistence, resolve conflicts as soon as possible and prevent them from getting worse. Also to identify and act as soon as possible in cases of abuse or harassment.
News | 2023 Jan 25

Schools are institutions where people are educated and cared for who, in the school context, learn that it is important to take care of themselves and take care of ourselves. The school repeats its mission, it wants to overcome a protectionist model based on the “search for safe environments “with another of “integral formation”, in which the relations are woven, from reciprocity, trust and respect, social values that will then be applied throughout life.

This new model protects, promotes and practices the culture of good behavior. The consequence is the effective protection of all people in the school community, regardless of their age and task: students, teachers, non-teaching and service staff, management teams ...

The strategies of good behavior and mutual care guarantee the integral development in the school environment and thus reach, over time, the whole society. The terms “care” and “caring” are thought and action, manifested bypresence and affection.

In the centers of the Augustinian Recollects in Spain there are some specific educational programs designed from this new school model. We present three of them: two educational programs (Help Students and Mediators) and a computer application (#ConvivApp).

“Students Help”

All of us, in our student stage, had classmates recognized and valued for their qualities and attention, for generating a good climate of coexistence and support for study, for being proactive when it comes to avoiding or resolving conflicts. Its positive influence was noticeable in the coexistence, in class, in the corridors, in the courtyards, in the recesses, in the sports center.

The “Students help” program allows, in a systematic way, that in the daily life of the center everyone knows who to turn to in search of encouragement, support in difficulties, listening, understanding. Another of their roles is to identify those who are sad, depressed or worried, to implement support and listening actions as soon as possible.

The help-students do not come from a strange classification of “kindness” or comparisons between them, but stand out for their communication, empathy and conflict resolution skills; The older ones accompany and help the minors.

At the Romareda School in Zaragoza this program is called “Big Brother”. Students of 4th year in Secondary (16 years old) those who tutor those of 1st year (12 years old): to support their integration, support coexistence, promote that there is a peaceful jump of stage, from Primary to Secondary. Esther is responsible for this program:

“This project arises from the desire to increase the participation of students in good coexistence, giving them greater responsibility and prominence. With the program we achieve that a group of students want to improve coexistence and help their classmates.
We are talking about volunteers with a positive leadership profile, who inspire confidence, who know how to listen and are willing to help. They are trained by the school, in communication skills, management of emotions and conflict resolution. The assistants are a privileged observatory of social relations in the school, they provide interesting ideas and proposals to improve school coexistence.
In our case, students aids welcome the students of the first year of Secondary, coming from Primary, and offer them information about the new stage. They detect risk situations and refer those cases that may have greater relevance. They carry out a personalized follow-up of the tutored students.
In this way, they serve as a close reference for the students in their care; actively listen to tutored students and show interest in their concerns; assist in conflict resolution; promote coexistence; collaborate in the training of tutored students in social skills; promote integration with activities during recess or in tutoring sessions...
Although it may seem that the immediate benefit falls on the tutored, in the elderly it also favors self-confidence, acquisition of social skills, feelings of responsibility and empathy, emotional education and autonomy in conflict resolution.”

We asked Javier and Inés, tutored students of first year of secondary school, about their experience:

How would you define your “big brother”?

My older sister is very nice, she always helps us when we have a problem and, if she sees us in a hurry, she gives us a hand and understands us.

In what things has it helped you?

At the beginning of the course she gave us a lot of advice about what Secondary School was like, how we had to study, what our teachers were like, what the exams would be like and how we could get good grades.
Now when we meet we do other activities and play with them, we do assemblies in the yard... They even told us that they will come to class to tutor us in the next evaluation.

Would you like to be a big brother in the future?

I would have to think about it a little, but I think I would dare. I would like to help other kids adjust to high school and I would have to prepare myself. Of course, I would have to prepare. There are many changes from Primary to Secondary and, as we will have lived it completely, we will have experience and we will know how to do it.


Mediation is a procedure by which a neutral thirdparty facilitates communication and helps the parties to negotiateuntil a mutually accepted outcome is reached. Mediation has educational value in of itself, because it teaches that there are many ways of solving problems, but confrontation is not one of them.

The mediators are students of 3rd and 4th year of Secondary, identified with a special bracelet, who intervene in these daily discussions in the classroom before they weaken the general atmosphere. They also do it in discussions between friends so they do not involve physical aggression, or humiliation. When this happens effectively, the matter is dealt with directly by the coordinator of coexistence of the school.

The Mediators program has another significant and educational experience: reinforcing the positive side of each person and learning to listen to the other. Aitana is a student mediator at the Saint Augustine School of the Augustinian Recollects in Valladolid.

What are the phases of the mediation process?

The first phase is remediation, in which the protagonists are approached individually. The mediators introduce ourselves, ask each one for their take on the problem and say goodbye.
The second phase is the presentation of the people and the rules of the game: we bring together the two protagonists, we all formally introduce ourselves, explain the rules of dialogue and decide who begins to tell their version of the problem, explain their opinion and express their feelings.
In the third phase is the clarification of the problem through some more specific questions. Then we summarize what was exposed by each protagonist to have an overall vision.
In the fourth phase we propose solutions both the protagonists and the mediators. In the case of complex conflicts, each issue is addressed in order of least to most complexity.
Finally, we seek to reach an agreement that both protagonists decide as a realistic and possible solution. It is written and confidential. Compliance is then tracked.

Can you give us an example of successful mediation?

Two students fought at recess. We spoke to each one individually and both defended that it was the other who had begun to insult.
After explaining the rules, listening to each point of view and sharing their emotions, we assumed what happened and began to ask concrete questions: did animosity arise recently or a long time ago? Did insults begin as a form of pique? When did insults become more important?...
The consensual solution was to ask for forgiveness, not to have more contact than necessary, not to insult each other and, in case the situation is repeated, never to reach physical conflict. Both signed the mutual agreement on paper.

How do you feel about wearing that mediator's bracelet?

Personally, I feel a little responsible, because I must set an example for the work I do and I must help in an equal way people who may be my friends, acquaintances or strangers, or even people with whom I prefer not to relate.
At the same time, I feel happy because my colleagues trust me to mediate in any conflict.


The Saint Augustine School of Valladolid received the Award for coexistence among students granted by the Ministry of Education by the Council of Castilla and Leon for the implementation of the #ConvivApp program, which has been in operation since the 2020-2021 academic year.

This program consists of a computer application that serves to identify as soon as possible and act immediately on any incident related to abuse – physical or psychological – and harassment – real or virtual. All Secondary students and teachers have this application installed on their mobile devices.

The use of the application allows, in a simple and anonymous way, to communicate any situation that students are going through or have witnessed. The students themselves, based on using the application in a proactive way, have expanded its use for any matter of coexistence in the classroom and at recess.

Of all the incidents that come through the application, a solution is studied. The tutors of the affected students of the situation are informed and, when appropriate, the families are informed of the process. In addition, the team of teachers coordinating the application, the Mediators students and the Help students have direct communication and hold face-to-face meetings.

Alberto is responsible for #ConvivApp in Valladolid:

How did this idea come about?

The group of teachers responsible for the students Help and Mediators met in February 2020 to see how to unite school coexistence and information and communication technologies.
A colleague who had lived in the United States had used a similar application, from which came a first idea that we called see something, say something.
As all students have mobile devices, in this case tablet, we designed an application that Secondary and High School students could easily access. We designed an icon and the idea was put into action.

How does it work from the teachers' side?

As soon as a student enters ConvivApp and fills out the form, a notice appears in the email. Then we take note in our diary, add the necessary observations and follow up on the case.
As soon as the matter or incident reaches us, we put the Help students to work and they are the ones who observe the situation more closely and inform those responsible.
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