Bullying is a problem that affects everyone. If this will be your first year teaching in a public school system, you'll probably come in contact with bullying on a daily basis. Statistics show that one teenager attempts suicide every 30 minutes as a result of bullying. The same statistics show that more than 3.2 million students are the victims of bullying each year. That's a lot of students. As a teacher in the classroom, you are a student's first line of defense against bullying. Here are four things you can do to prevent your students from becoming the victims of schoolyard bullying.
Whether you're in the classroom, or out on campus, it's important that you pay attention to your surroundings. By paying attention to what's going on around you, you'll be able to identify problem situations quickly. When you become a noticeable figure in the classroom, and on campus, bullies will be less likely to act out while you're around – which could eliminate the problem altogether.
Never assume that a situation is harmless, especially if you see a student that is in distress. Get involved as soon as you see a situation that could turn into bullying. When it comes to children, don't ever assume that a situation is merely harmless teasing. Something that's harmless teasing to one child, may be enough to send another child over the edge. Get involved.
Lead by Example
If you witness a situation involving bullying, remain calm and lead by example. Students need to see that you can react in a calm manner to a stressful situation. Separate the students that are involved in the situation and deal with each one individually.
Promote Personal Responsibility
If you witness bullying, and there are bystanders nearby that are encouraging the situation, hold them responsible for their actions. This is particularly true if they saw the bullying and didn't notify the proper authorities – teachers, principal, etc. By promoting personal responsibility, you'll be encouraging the students to act appropriately the next time they see someone being bullied.
If this is going to be your first year teaching in your own classroom, you need to be prepared for bullying. Students that are susceptible to bullying will be depending on you to act appropriately when you see a problem arising. Use the tips provided here and find more information from companies like The Bully Corporation to help you become a positive example on campus.