Nowadays, bullying has become common in schools. That alone is a problem that should not be taken lightly. In fact the United States Justice Department pegs that 80 percent of students have become victims of bullying.
Teachers should be in the forefront in keeping the campus bully-free. If the victim has not come to you directly, care enough to take a look to find out if there is something wrong. Teachers are very much needed to finally put a lid on this pressing modern problem.
Look for the signs
Concerned teachers should be always on the lookout for the telltale signs of bullying amongst students. Students that are exhibiting depression, stress and anxiety with fear are often victims of bullying. Often the victim would have a lot of unexplained bruises, cuts and scrapes. They would often lose money, toys or books that cannot be explained. Victims are often reluctant to ride the school bus or would become withdrawn, sullen or depressed. They can be sad, moody and anxious with no known cause. If you are able to observe these sudden changes in behavior there is a strong possibility that the child has become a victim of bullying.
Resolve the issue
As a teacher you may be able to expose the bully problem. It is important to resolve the issue the soonest time possible. It is best to have a moment alone with the victim in a private area to discuss the predicament. You need to discuss the problem with the victim and get into the bottom of it. You should be able to tell the victim that you care as his or her teacher. However, you should not become overly sympathetic to his or her plight especially in public. Let the victim realize that when he or she opens up and tells you about the problem, then the issue is about to be solved. Educate the victim about what he or she can do about the situation and empower him with tools to prevent further incidents of bullying.
Create a safe environment
A teacher holds great responsibility in making sure that the students feel that the school is a safe environment. There should be clear action plans that are in place on how to address the issue when there is a victim to prevent bullying from happening. It is important to teach the children with relevant social skills so that they would not be isolated which increases the risk of bullying. Teachers should be able to teach children how to make new friends in order to boost self-worth and discourage the incidence of bullying.
Send a serious signal
Make sure that you communicate well that bullying will not be tolerated by the school. A teacher should make it clear to bullies that the school will not condone the inappropriate behavior. Let the bully realize that the school is unhappy about the behavior but not with the person.
Get the trust of the bully
Obtain the trust of the bullies by teaching them why their behavior is unpleasant and explain to them the repercussions of their actions. You need to be straightforward and let them be aware that you and other members of the school staff are bent towards putting an end to bullying.
As a teacher you are in the prime position to teach children about the serious issues of bullying. Sensitize the children about the issues of bullying through classroom instructions and tools that would enable them to realize the importance of curbing the issue. The tools that teachers should be using must be tailored to fit the level of maturity and cognitive levels of the students. The teachers should be explicit in pointing out what are the things that should not happen versus socially-acceptable behavior.
Everyone agrees that bullying has no place in schools. People that work in schools and parents must work together in putting a lid to this nefarious and ludicrous situation affecting our children today. It takes a concerted effort by every stakeholder to shift the tide since bullying can hamper the learning process as well as the cognitive behavior of each student. Apparently, this can affect not only the self-worth but also the ability of the students to learn.