Bullying has been taking place in all parts of the world ever since and it has been a controversial issue that has always been overlooked, especially inside the classroom.
It is also one of the most challenging matters that teachers have to face which is inevitable most of the time. It is necessary for you as a teacher to know how to recognize if bullying is indeed happening in your class.
How do I spot signs of bullying in my class? Ask yourself this question. As a teacher, it’s important for you to know how to recognize and handle such situations as it can greatly affect how your students perform in class. Keep in mind that bullying can be subtle to the point that it’s hard to recognize from a teacher’s point of view as it may be in different forms.
You as a teacher are someone who is capable of doing something about it and to help end it and break the cycle, we should do what we can for the greater good of every young mind as we are the ones who help shape their characters.
Being bullied is never easy, as I myself have experienced it and had no one to help me through those events. But today, I am somewhat grateful for it because it helped me be who I am today. And I am someone willing to stand up for others who are being pushed around and bullied.
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Bullying comes in different forms, it can be physical, verbal, and even both at the same time, and most recently through social media also known as cyberbullying where bullies can easily gang up on their victims with just one tap.
It is indeed a challenge for teachers to determine cases of bullying taking place within the class. Every case is unique and you really have to keep an eye on it in order to pinpoint it.
School should be a place for students to learn and create bonds with others but bullying is one of the hindrances for students to develop themselves.
It can be a bad experience for them that they will carry on for the rest of their lives, nothing good comes out of bullying.
With this said, teachers should develop a keen eye to observe students inside the classroom in order to maintain peace among the students.
Students who are bullied tend to not have the courage to stand up for themselves most of the time as they can be bullied even more by those who are already bullying them, this is why it is a must for a teacher to take action as soon as the act of bullying is seen.
How Do I Spot Signs Of Bullying In My Class? Pay attention to these 4 signs of bullying in your class
1.) Be wary of physical signs of bullying
Unexplained bruises and wounds on a student are the first red flag you should look out for.
Physical abuse is one common form of bullying and it comes in different forms not just through the form of violence but also through the act of pilferage.
Closely observe your students whenever you have the time, do not let a single abnormality in their appearance get past you.
A simple torn fabric from their clothes can tell a whole story, if you let one past you then the bullying will most likely continue.
Bullying cases are always sensitive for all parties involved, and as much as possible it is a must for you to tackle the situation discreetly as much as possible, keep it on the low so that it will not alarm and cause panic to students that are involved.
If the students carrying out the bullying learn that you are aware of the situation, then they will definitely claim their innocence and pretend that it is not part of their doings.
Be cautious in handling these situations, because they will have the tendency to bully their victim even further once they know that you know, and this will make them think that their victim ratted them out to you.
2.) Be wary of emotional signs of bullying
As I said, bullying comes in different forms. Aside from physical abuse, verbal abuse is also another form of bullying and these two are commonly paired up. And sadly, this can cause irreparable damage to their victim’s self-esteem and self-worth.
Bullies spew out mean things without even thinking about how their classmates would feel about it—surprisingly they find it entertaining to see their victims suffering.
Students who were once cheerful and liked to interact with others are now reduced into a bundle of nerves and a stuttering mess without any intention of socializing with others.
Also, try to watch out for any unusual behaviors from your students who used to be always bright and cheerful, an obvious sign of bullying is them suddenly having outbursts of anger out of nowhere that is highly unusual for them.
This is an evident sign that something is indeed happening behind the scenes.
Also take note if, after every class, they are quick to stand on their feet and rush home. If these drastic changes occurred to one of your students then bullying has obviously ensued, try to talk to your student about it as calmly and collected as possible.
Once you’ve initiated a sit down with them, try to make them feel comfortable and let them feel that they’re in a safe space, don’t force them as this will make them feel like they’re under interrogation and they will just end up not talking.
Most likely scared to talk, so try to be gentle and make them understand that you’re trying to help them.
You would not want your students to panic, understand their position and fear of confrontation, and try to help them overcome it instead of forcing them to tell the name of their bullies.
3.) Pay Attention to Passive-Aggressive Conversations of your Students
During classes or during breaks it is good to always check on the state of your students, from their interactions to their conversations.
Sometimes there are some hidden meanings behind every conversation they have, the words might be positive and can be easily interpreted as a casual statement but they can easily be flipped depending on how they deliver their words.
If you see students having this type of conversation there is no doubt that it is one way to bully someone, especially if one side of the conversation does not respond at all and looks as if they are scared to talk back.
You should also be on the look for backhanded compliments that seem suspicious to you, they might seem harmless but they can absolutely hurt the feelings of the one receiving them.
You do not need to hear their exact conversation, the expressions that they are showing when having a conversation can easily shed some light on what type of conversation they have, whether it is a casual one or one-sided.
Stop, look, and listen carefully. Observing them is a good tactic for you to find out and catch them red-handed in the act.
For this method, you need to have full knowledge of every student you have, their personalities should be ingrained in your thoughts so that you can easily tell if there is something off about them.
4.) Keep Those Rebels Under Your Radar
Many bullies have a hard time respecting people in authority, in school they think teachers are the enemy. They are rebels and do not easily listen to anyone, and if that is the case then you should not forget to pay close attention to these students.
It might not be a good idea to keep them under strict observation but it is better than having someone fall victim to them.
Sometimes you just need to have firm resolve and confront those students who you think are causing trouble to others.
It is best to resolve the problem of bullying as soon as possible because it can cause a lot of distraught to a student. Bullying can dim the glow of students who are bright and cheerful and can even cause them to suffer from depression and anxiety as well.
It will most likely affect the way they think about school, one day they might find themselves unmotivated to go to school because the only thing waiting for them there is the consistent trampling on their dignity as a human.
No one should ever go through such a traumatizing experience, not everyone has a strong mental fortitude. Students are still at the age where they lack the strength to overcome that kind of problem, that is why teachers should be wary and always keep an eye on them.
Bullies should also be a part of the change, we should find out the reason why they behave in such a way that greatly affects their classmates in an adverse way.
Students who bully might be going through some tough phases in their life that have traumatized them which made them act in such a way, it’s our job to enlighten them that what they’re doing harms not only others but themselves too.
Bullying can be a tough conversation to resolve, but with perseverance and determination to help your students, you can all overcome it stronger and wiser.