Teachers who are being bullied are often afraid that their professional image could be affected if they admit they are being abused. Even though it is hard to stop bullying in schools, there are some tips to follow to help improve teacher safety and bring the bullying to an end. Otherwise, teachers could end up getting bullied to the point that they have to resign or even worse snap at the students that are responsible for the bullying. Such an action could easily cost them their teaching job or even worse put the teacher in jail because of their unprofessional manner against the abusive student.
|SEE ALSO: How to Deal with Bullying as a Teacher|
How to Improve Teacher Safety?
Teachers can easily improve their safety at schools by following certain guidelines. They will not have to worry about their professional image or think of ways to protect themselves from bullying once they know what to do and how to react.
What Can Teachers Do?
Listen to Students’ Whispers
Whispers in schools are often about gossip and the usual teenage talk. However, sometimes the whispers can be something that leads to violating the school’s rules. For example, students can be gossiping about a fight that will happen. When teachers pay attention to what is being said and become more aware of what is happening among the students, they can guarantee their own safety and the safety of other students.
Monitor Students at Change of Classes
When students plan for a fight or any other type of violence, this usually happens at the time of changing classes. As a teacher, you will want to keep your ears open during that time. However, you should be subtle about it; students should never be able to tell that you are listening to what they are saying. For example, you can pretend that you are standing by the door, with your hands on the knob to look like you are just keeping an eye on the hallway.
Keep Your Ears Open in Class
When sitting inside the classroom, you can act like you are grading papers. However, you should keep your ears open as to what is going on around you. This is going to help you figure out what is going on inside your students’ mind, especially if they cannot tell you are listening to them.
Leave Classroom Doors Open
Another way of improving teacher safety is to keep the classroom door always open. This might give you trouble in teaching or cause distraction for the students, but it will allow you to listen to what is going on in the hallway. When you have the classroom doors open, you are also going to allow any of the noise that your students make, such as yelling or screaming to be heard in the hallway. Consequently, you will have a better chance at protecting yourself from abuse. In extremely dangerous situations, if you hear any type of gunshots or other screams you will want to quickly respond, lock your classroom door, and hide.
Alert the Principal to Problems
For improving teacher safety, you do not want to keep the problems all to yourself. Involve the principal and alert him or her to any problems happening inside or outside of your classroom. You will also want to tell the principal about any of the threatening whispers you have heard or any type of violence in the school towards the staff or other students. If you are the type of teachers that students confide in and do not want to lose their trust, you may want to set up a private meeting with the principal or discuss it through their cell phone number or another method of communication. That way you can contact the principal of the school without having to give away your trust that you share with the students. With the information you have, you are not only improving your safety, but you are also keeping the entire school safe.
Establish Your Own Classroom Rules
As a teacher, you might need to establish your own specific rules to guarantee your safety and the safety of other students. One of the best rules is to prohibit the use of backpacks in the classroom. The students are allowed to bring their backpacks to school; however, you can ask your students to leave them in their locks until the end of the school day. This means the students will only have to come in class with their books. However, this could mean the teachers may have to maintain some basic supplies in the classroom to avoid sending out students in order to grab something they forgot in their backpacks.
Educate Your Students about the Consequences of Bullying
In most cases, students may try to bully or violate the teacher safety rules because they are not aware of what can happen to them. On the other hand, if the class is aware of what their bullying can lead to, they will eventually try to avoid breaking those teacher safety rules. As students begin to understand that abuse could create a serious problem that may put them in jail or endanger their entire future, they will think twice before they consider behaving in such a manner.
A teacher is not only teaching academics but should also teach students good manners and proper behaviour to ensure they have a successful learning experience and a brighter future. For teacher safety, be more open to the students and educate them about the immediate dangers of bullying or violating the safety of others. This may seem like a common-sense topic, but sometimes this does not get engrained in the child’s mind at a young age and they grow up thinking they can get away with anything they do. However, when you teach them about the effects of their bullying, explaining that they might be kicked out of school or that they may even have to spend time in prison, students will tend to better acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and try to avoid it later on.
Also remember to educate students about the meaning of bullying and what makes a bully. Sometimes students do not even realize that what they are doing is making them a bully. In such a case, they will often continue this action for a long time and think it is fine. By educating your students about the nature of a bully and the action of bullying, they will start to acknowledge their improper attitude and accordingly take the right action to avoid any type of abuse.
Teacher safety is vital when you are working at a school. However, when teaching, it is sometimes hard to figure out what you should be doing in order to improve teacher safety. You should follow some tips to make sure you are properly protected while you are teaching and are able to avoid any of the situations that can lead to bullying or harm your safety. Otherwise, you could end up being one of the many teachers that have been seen on the news lately who have lost their jobs because they were bullied to the point that they snapped and lashed out at the bully. These teachers do not only lose their jobs, but also face the possibility of going to prison because of their actions.