Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 1, 2017

5 Post-Holiday Strategies to Thwart the Infamous Triple Dog Dare!

Whether it's on the playground, in the locker room, or discreetly right under your nose, bullying happens every moment of everyday. Here are 5 strategies to stop bullies in their tracks!

1) Know the players.

Bullies are sneaky to say the least! In fact, one of your beloved darlings who makes straight A's and gave you a box of dark chocolates for Christmas, may very well be picking on one of your not-so-beloved students. One of the best ways to spot a bully is to catch them off guard.

The cafeteria lunch line, locker room, and playgrounds are breeding grounds for bullies. Pay attention to who cuts in line (bully)? Who typically sits alone pretending to read (victim)? Who is picked last when choosing "teams?" Instigators are highly manipulative and sneaky!

2) Get the whole story.

Before jumping to conclusions, stop and meet with involved parties separately. This may need to happen in an administrator's office depending on the severity. Nonetheless, before picking up the phone to call home, listen to all parties involved before writing the student up.

Warning: document, document, document! I once had a mentor teacher of mine tell me, "If it isn't written down, it never happened." Having the student write down in his/her own words will protect yourself and your campus administration from future headaches.

3) Don't be an enabler.

Just because you needed a smaller student to play the sheep in your Christmas pageant doesn't mean you should have chosen the smallest student. Children who are typically bullied are targets for a reason. Maybe they haven't hit a growth spurt and are small for their age. They may be super-intelligent and would rather talk about computer coding or fossils over computer games.

Why make the bully's job any easier?!

4) Be approachable.

How you see yourself and how your student sees you are entirely different. You may appear 15 feet tall to a young child who is in first grade.

As goofy as it may sound, practice your facial expressions in the mirror. Find a way to diminish scowls and creased foreheads in exchange for a less scary look. It is one thing to show disapproval, it is another thing to scar a small child for life!

Perspective is everything!

5) Teach students to self-advocate.

There's a fine line between tattle-telling and self-advocating. Students who learn to stick up for themselves and express their needs are less likely to fall victim to bullies. When a student self-advocates they are empowering themselves.

Whining and crying are weak ways to express needs and may look like tattle-telling. Our job as teachers is to teach children the difference. (We can't assume that children will learn this at home). Comfort and console, but then role play to model how to self-advocate.

Taking a proactive and preventative approach  may not rid the world from bullies, but it can certainly help to stop them in their tracks! Be aware. Be proactive. Believe students when they tell you that someone is picking on them. I triple dog dare you!

Confession Reflection
  • What is the difference between a student tattle-telling and student self-advocating?
  • How can administrators support teachers who have reoccurring bullying episodes in their classrooms?
  • Why is it important to have continued age-appropriate professional development on bully prevention? What resources would support this initiative on your campus?
  • What kinds of proactive measures can be taken to prevent cyberbullying?

No comments:

Post a Comment