In today’s society, bullying is a major issue among every age group. Every seven minutes, someone is bullied. However, adults only intervene in only 4% of those incidents. With that low of a number can only give a bully the idea that nothing is wrong with what they do and they will continue to bully their victims. Also if a teacher does not intervene, victims may feel like they should be bullied. Teachers can identify bullying by observing several different kinds of actions by individuals who may bully. It can include physical and verbal aggression. Physical aggression may include: hitting, kicking, and punching. Verbal aggression may include: threatening, taunting, and starting rumors. A recent study found that “one in four teachers didn’t identify name calling, spreading rumors, or leaving individuals out as signs of bullying.” Another way to identify bullying is for the teacher to watch students where they may feel no one is watching them, like a playground. Teachers can observe the students who may push or name-call victims.
Teachers can both prevent bullying, as well as respond to bullying in several different ways. First, teaching their class what bullying means and how it can affect someone is very important. Sometimes students may not know that “their behavior crosses the line and becomes bullying.” Teachers and their students can come up rules for the classroom that define how they should act and behave. Treating others with respect, having a no-hit policy, and making all classmates feel welcome are just some ideas. If a teacher observes a student engaged in bullying and hurtful behavior, he/she can intervene and talk to the student about the hurtful behavior and how it affects the student. Another way to help stop bullying as well as intervene, teachers can go on a walking tour of the school to uncover “hot spots” where bullying or teasing takes place. Ask other teachers to do the same thing to see if patterns occur. When schools identify these places, they can make them look less attractive to bullying. One technique could include putting more teachers at these places between classes. Teachers can also rearrange their classrooms to put “so-called” bullies within view.
With bullying being a huge problem in today’s schools, teachers can play a huge role in intervening and putting an end to bullying. By implementing some of these techniques listed above, teachers can become a huge voice in student’s lives by putting an end to bullying.
- Identification of bullies: provides information about identifying bullies in schools.
- Bully Booklet: This informational booklet about how teachers can prevent and intervene in classroom bullying was written by Jim Wright, a school psychologist.
- Stop Bullying Now is run by Stan Davis, who is a researcher on bullying and a founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.
- These are lesson plans for teachers around bullying and character education.
- The government’s official website on bullying provides resources for educators, students, and parents regarding bullying.