Bullying can negatively affect a child’s well-being. If not addressed immediately, both the bully and the bullied can suffer to a greater extent. The one who bullies can become more violent in the future while the one being bullied experiences trauma, sleepless nights, and anxiety. In essence, teachers can do great things to address this problem.
Feeling inadequate. Experiencing self-pity. Having low self-esteem. Feeling embarrassed. Afraid and worried. Much worse, getting depressed! These are the experiences of a bullied child. And this is very common in the classroom. How can teachers help to prevent bullying?
Students should feel safe in the classroom, in the school, and anywhere. As a teacher, I value my role in providing my students with a conducive, healthy, and safe learning environment. Their safety is one of my primary concerns.
The occurrence of bullying in the classroom is an ugly result of poor classroom management. It should be prevented from being repeated because it might cause serious problems.
Students should be protected from being ridiculed or from being victims of aggressive behaviors of anyone. With this, I feel the great responsibility of establishing a culture of respect, genuine care, and love in the classroom.
It has something to do with always inculcating desirable values in our students. They need it.
<<<How do you know that bullying is happening in your classroom? Spot early signs of bullying as early as now. Click the link below for useful tips.
What is bullying?
Bullying is an act of causing harm or shame to others or overpowering others due to aggressive behaviors and unwanted acts. It is very common among school-aged children. Bullies usually make actions that can harm others physically, socially, emotionally, or in many other aspects.
Such an incident can be repeated many times if not addressed immediately which can intensely affect the well-being of the one being bullied.
Belligerent behaviors can result in abusing and threatening others, which could have lasting consequences. Bullying comes in different forms and the most common are physical and social.
More oftentimes, if the victims experience somewhat emotional torture, they are really going through hard times that could affect their self-esteem. Worse, they may bully others too to get even and it can be a repeated act.
It is an accepted fact that bullying happens everywhere and its presence in school is very common. Therefore, teachers must be more vigilant in their ways of preventing bullying from happening in their classrooms.
We have to instill in the minds of our students or even in our loved ones that bullying is intolerable. As educators, we should help cut its roots before it propers into a useless huge tree.
Keep reading and get helpful strategies on how can teachers help to prevent bullying. We need to act on it immediately before it consumes the well-being of our students. I believe that our children or learners should be given a safe learning environment so they will succeed in life.
Hence, if you are here with me on this page. Let’s cross our fingers that we can put an ultimate stop to all forms of bullying in our classroom.
So, let’s get started.
How Can Teachers Help to Prevent Bullying? 10 Insightful Strategies
1. Create a culture of respect and kindness in the classroom
Creating a community in our classrooms is very imperative and it makes students feel the welcoming atmosphere in the classroom. The atmosphere we set up for our students should be one that is supportive, collaborative, healthy, and safe.
Moreover, we should inculcate in our students the value of respect and kindness for one another. By establishing a spirit of unity in the classroom we can intensify the connectivity of our learners. They should be united and connected with one another.
The positive attitude we display in the classroom will be emulated by our students so they treat one another with respect and kindness. For example, if your students hear you using nice and kind words, they will probably also do the same.
This can help them feel secure and safe in the classroom. To zoom out, this strategy can also boost their confidence which improves their academic performance as well.
2. Integrate bullying and its effects into some of your relevant class discussions
It’s good to talk to your students so they can also be aware. Bullying is the ultimate destroyer of relationships and even more, it ruins someone’s self-worth.
Sharing with your students the possible effects of bullying can impact their perspectives and they become mindful of their actions. As teachers, we should do everything in our power to stop incidents of bullying in the classroom.
Doing this will make students intensify their relationships with one another. By knowing deeply how bullying can terrorize classroom engagements, the students will do their part to practice collaboration and initiate social interaction.
Being informed can make them move as one.
3. Implement consistent classroom rules and expectations
Do your students know what they are allowed to do in the classroom and what they should not? Do they know why they should do this and that?
I find this very necessary. The classroom rules and the clear expectations you have set since the start are the backbones of your classroom management.
For better results, consistent classroom rules should be implemented with fairness. This is certainly a way of promoting collaboration in the classroom.
As teachers, we are primarily in charge of the order and decorum to provide students with a nurturing and safe learning environment. Therefore, we should work harder in implementing classroom rules and in setting high and clear expectations.
Studies reveal that the framework we set in the classroom will positively impact student learning and discipline. Moreover, the set of behavior expectations we set will help develop a positive attitude in our students and this will help students to gain more focus on the different learning activities.
Furthermore, this way can also lessen disruptions in your classes. If students are guided accordingly, like the simple way of passing their answer sheets and how they should go out of the classroom, establish good practices in students that make them disciplined and orderly.
4. Involve parents in your behavior management strategies
For students to be well-adjusted in their classroom presence, they should know exactly what behavior expectations are being set. In order for them to have a clearer understanding of things, you should tap the parents’ help.
Anyway, it’s their utmost responsibility to get hold of their children’s behavior so they will grow polite and respectful of others. Hence, parents should also be aware of how their sons and daughters are performing in school.
In my classroom, I usually conduct a quarterly conference with the parents. This will not only make them aware of how their children perform but also keep them updated on their behavior in the classroom. Moreover, this will also maintain open communication with the parents.
If there is an incident of bullying, I respond immediately and accordingly. The private talks we have somehow involved parents as well depending on the weight of the bullying incident.
5. Establish appropriate interventions
The classroom scenario isn’t always pleasing. There are instances where students’ actions and behaviors interrupt the flow of the discussion. In such a situation, as teachers, we should be ready with the proper interventions to address the problem.
Furthermore, as teachers, we should be aware of the key behaviors of bullies so we can identify them easily. If a student initiates name-calling or makes others laugh at a certain act, we should address it immediately as these actions can lead to bullying.
You should stop it immediately. But we should talk to the bully and the victim separately and privately.
When talking with them, we should introduce the value of empathy and ask them ‘How would you feel if you’re done with such things?’
In other words, putting proper interventions in place immediately can help stop acts of bullying in the classroom. Just be aware of the unwanted behaviors of your students and motivate them to do good things as well.
6. Maintain open communication with students
Interact with your students. Talk to them and show them that you are approachable and that you listen. This can make them open up with you easily without intimidation.
In bullying situations, as teachers, we should talk to both parties separately. If the situation really requires both the bully and the victim to speak with the school’s guidance counselor, you can do so provided you schedule them separately
Holding a conference with both of them can never help especially if the fire has just started. It can worsen the scenario that will result in humiliation and holding grudges.
By establishing open communication with your students, you can easily connect with them and know them deeply. It seems likely that you closely monitor their actions to prevent acts of bullying from happening.
Remember that the presence of a bully in the classroom can affect the entire class. So, we should communicate with them and know how they are.
7. Let students feel your concern and presence
The support and concern you show to your students can go a long way. They should feel that you are deeply concerned with their well-being and that you are always around.
Ignoring simple indications of bullying will make students feel that they are uncared for. Equally important, your presence in the classroom will be more intensified if you know each of your students passionately.
Thereupon, you need to establish your concerns and presence right from the beginning and be consistent with them. This can make children feel safe and enjoy their moments in the classroom.
Failure to address any bullying incident in the classroom and turning away from the victims just because you are hurrying to finish your lessons and don’t like to be interrupted, make you a bully as well.
In parting, let’s always remember these gems for thoughts:
“School administrators can’t say it’s up to the parents. Parents can’t say it’s up to the teachers. Teachers can’t say it’s not their job. And kids can’t say, “I was too afraid to tell.” Every single one of us has to play our role if we’re serious about putting an end to the madness. We are all responsible. We must be.” – Megan Kelley Hall
By reading this article, perhaps I have shown you some insightful ways how can teachers help to prevent bullying.
8. Be watchful of the early stages of bullying
When you’re able to recognize or notice early signs of bullying in the classroom, you should find ways to stop it immediately. Your students might display behavioral tendencies of hurting others both emotionally and physically. You should be watchful of these bullying behaviors so you can intervene right away.
These are prime behaviors that should be detected at an early stage before it develops into more aggressive tendencies. These key patterns of bullying are called “gateway behaviors” that should be detected immediately.
Name-calling is among the key behaviors of a bully. This is very common in the classroom. Another instance that should be observed is during class recitations. When a student fails to answer, a student might initiate a laughing act and that begins it all. Put an end to it right away.
You might be very busy with your instructional and facilitating roles, but you can’t just turn a blind eye to bullying incidents and aggressive behaviors in the classroom. Early interventions are effective ways to stop bullying before a host of issues occur.
9. Model respectful behavior
One of the best ways to teach students about respect is by example. We should strive to model respectful behavior both in class and outside of it.
When students see us behaving respectfully, they are more likely to follow suit. Also, we can talk about respect with our students. We can discuss what it means, why it’s important, and how to show respect to others. This can help students to understand and value respect more.
10. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for bullying behavior.
If you establish a zero-tolerance policy for bullying behavior, it will send the message that you take this issue seriously and that any type of bullying will not be tolerated. This will help to create a safe and bully-free environment for your students.
This will help to remind your students what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in the classroom setting.
Here’s a video that you can share with your students. It presents ways how to stop a bully and to help the victim build self-confidence and self-worth.
It’s a wrap-up!
The full encouragement we give to our students so they stay nice with one another can help. We should stand up for our students and help them out from fear and intimidation.
By empathizing with them, we know exactly how they feel. It hurts and can cause sleepless nights, anxieties, and depression. As passionate teachers, we should not allow our students to wallow in negative emotions.
If the acts of bullying happen in a different place, we should not say that it’s not our lookout anymore. That’s dread. Disregarding is turning a blind eye which will make students lose their trust in you.
We have to remember that this affects a student’s way of learning that could hamper his or her performance in the classroom. Moreover, it severely impacts the child’s self-esteem and well-being. Let’s be more concerned as educators and we are considered second parents anyway.
Have you experienced bullying incidents among your students? What did you do? Or what else can you do to prevent this from happening again?
Comment below and let’s prevent bullying as much as possible!