Your approach to Discussing Bullying in Classrooms
1-Talk about it. For a lot of reasons, bullying is a topic that is not often dealt with directly. Have class discussions about tolerance and respect for others. The last few years have brought a wealth of good books, videos and other resources to help get the conversation going. Make this discussion a habit and not a one-time thing; if this starts becoming an interactive class endeavour then this’ll substantially help you with your job
2- Look for it and confront it when you witness it — every time. This mission is one that requires perseverance, and persistence; kids are getting smarter and more creative, they’ll almost never bully in the presence of an adult and they know how to protect themselves from getting caught in the act or being held accountable- which makes your job more challenging, but also that much more vital.
3- Teach bystanders how to safely intervene. Most students are not chronic targets or chronic bullies. They’re bystanders. And as we all know, there are three things students typically do when they witness bullying: stand around and watch, stand around and watch, and stand around and watch. Yet most students agree they don’t like to see it happen, and that they often feel guilty or ashamed for not stepping in and helping out. In the words of an astute freshman boy, “Kids need to know that it’s cool to stand up for other kids.” Standing up for others takes courage, but when the school ethic supports it, it goes a very long way toward reducing bullying in a school.
4-Model good anger management skills. One of the best ways to teach young people what respect looks like is by practising good anger management skills. Most of us feel like screaming sometimes. But when we yell or belittle students we’re part of the problem. If we’re going to talk the talk, we have to walk the walk. We must find ways to handle our stress that allows us to always be respectful and patient with students
5- Confront enabling when you see or hear it from other adults. It’s common knowledge that kids subconsciously derive their attitudes and manners from the adults surrounding them; this means their teachers as well as their home environment. You may not have much influence on the parents if they’re unwilling to partake; but you do have a lot more power when it comes to other teachers.
Try to get them involved and share your concerns. State the impact a child’s well-being has on his academic progress. Try to organize staff awareness seminars or functions
–Don’t lecture or make it a tedious process; but reach out to their humanitarian side, and get them involved in a subtle and enjoyable manner (maybe throw a staff mixer dedicated to the issue etc..)
If they’re still resilient, then the least you can do is reject enabling. If you spot a staff member using derogatory terms or jokes, or putting down a student; then it’s more than acceptable to tactfully explain that this behaviour is inappropriate and might fuel other students to follow his\her lead but take it even further.
–Share some statistics- everyone loves statistics; they bring a sense of conclusiveness and reliability to the reader ,offer statistics on the number of suicide cases resulting from bullying, statistics on the psychological damage it causes, but most of all statistics on it’s rate.