Create a safe environment for your students and create awareness of school bullying. Bullying has become increasingly prevalent due to the increase of technology and the use of social media. As a teacher, it is important to recognize what bullying looks like in the classroom, how to handle it, and end it.
Because October is National Bullying Prevention Month; read on to learn about how to banish bullying by some tips and tricks you can try today in your classroom.
1. Promote Positive Behavior – Be a Role Model
Bullying feeds off of negativity. When you have a positive classroom environment, you are less likely to encourage or encounter put downs. Rather than focus on negative behavior, promote the positive. Use lots of verbal praise, send happy notes home, and even establish a positive reward system for students. You can issue coupons to students who act selflessly, compassionately, respectfully, and responsibly. Students can trade them in for prizes, enter them in a weekly raffle, or even use them to purchase positive incentives that you offer (Lunch in the Classroom with a Friend, Line leader for a week, Teacher’s Assistant for a Day, etc.).
2. Establish Examples of Bullying
Many children can recognize when bullying occurs, but many don’t realize they are sometimes indirectly a part of it and the overall problem. Conduct an activity in your classroom called, “Stand up to Bullies.” Go through practice scenarios with the class. If they think bullying is occurring, they should stand up and say, “Stand up to Bullies.” Students often don’t realize that even though they are not doing the bullying themselves; it is possible to still be a bully. Explain that laughing at what the bully is doing or passing on a rumor is adding to the problem and is considered being a bully. They also don’t realize that not reporting bullying situations is irresponsible. So have an honest and open discussion after each scenario you present to the class. Students will learn that all scenarios you are presenting to them are examples of bullying and they should be standing for each one and stating, “Stand up to Bullies.” You can then spend time talking about how to report bullying, adults students can talk to if they are being bullied, and consequences for being a bully.
3. Host a Getting to Know You Lunch
After observing students interacting with one another in your class, pair up two students who have difficulty working together in group settings. Eat lunch with them in the classroom. Guide them to answer questions about themselves so they can get to know each other’s likes, background, and interests. The pair may be surprised to learn that they have more in common than they think. Or they will learn that they can respect each other and their differences because they both have feelings and are in class together.
As a teacher, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. These simple tips and activities will ensure student acceptance and will help promote compassion for all.
Students will learn that bullying can stop with them and that everyone deserves the right to an education free from those who put others down!
Here are “Kindness in the Classroom” Task Cards! This resource is designed to promote kindness and awareness to help prevent all forms of bullying in the classroom. This resource includes 20 free task cards and a jar label. Place the task cards inside the jar and display it somewhere in your classroom where student can easily access. Encourage your students to read the task cards when they have free time or when a misbehavior occurs.
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