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Consider your classroom. Consider your students. One out of every five people has likely been bullied. What can you do as a teacher to help? bullying books for kids

More than 20% of students reported being bullied in 2016, according to the National Center for Education.

It's a staggering figure, especially when you consider how bullying can affect students' well-being in so many ways. Children who are targeted frequently have poor academic performance, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Let's not forget about the bullies themselves: they're at a much higher risk for a variety of problems that could persist into adulthood, from violent behavior to substance abuse.

What can you do as a teacher to make a difference? How can you create a bullying-free environment in the classroom while also putting in place interventions to stop the behavior in its early stages? These six strategies were developed after consulting with experts in education and mental health counseling.

1. instill kindness and empathy in your students.

Students who can approach ideas and problems from different angles are less likely to bully others.

Students should be involved in activities that promote social-emotional learning from an early age. Find ways to help students understand and appreciate their own and others' identities as a teacher. To do so, educators like Susan Patterson, who teaches a cyberbullying course at Lesley University, believe that empathy and kindness can be taught. I Choose to Calm My Anger

"Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes," Patterson explains, "and teachers need to incorporate this skill into their curriculum." "We need to start doing identity work with kids at a young age so that they know who they are, who everyone else is, and where they fit in the world."

One way to accomplish this is to have children gather and discuss their differences. Allow them to practice conflict resolution, problem-solving, and increasing their understanding of others.

2. Provide opportunities for people to connect.

Bullying incidents can be reduced and targeted students' healing can be facilitated by cultivating a sense of community in the classroom.

According to research, targeted students who feel connected to their peers are better able to cope with bullying. According to studies, teaching students to speak up and take a stand when they witness bullying behavior can reduce future bullying situations by more than half.

Nancy Beardall, who developed and implemented a bullying prevention curriculum in Newton Public Schools, says, "It's all about connection." "Students perform better when they feel connected to their peers, their school, and their community."

Create a safe space for students to express themselves and feel heard in the classroom. Develop students' ability to advocate on their own behalf as well as for others. Facilitate opportunities for positive reinforcement outside of the classroom by assisting students in participating in afterschool activities that are related to their hobbies and interests.

3. Identify what is known as "gateway behaviors."

Small behaviors, according to research, can often signal the start of bullying patterns. These indicators, known as "gateway behaviors," are often missed by educators who already have a lot on their plates. However, if you can spot them early on, you might be able to prevent bullying later on. Here are some key behaviors to watch out for as an educator:

  1. Rolling the eyes
  2. Staring for a long time
  3. Backward movement
  4. Cruelly laughing/encouraging others to laugh
  5. Name-calling
  6. Ignoring or dismissing
  7. Causing bodily harm
  8. Spying
  9. Stalking

While these actions may not be classified as bullying, intervening now may reduce the likelihood that they will escalate into something more serious. "The research suggests that [these behaviors] lead to bullying and that if we can stop kids here, we'll go a long way toward addressing the problem," Patterson says. bullying books for parents

4. Make use of the arts to add context.

The arts can be a powerful tool for assisting young people in seeing situations in new ways. Educators can help students understand the negative effects of bullying by using drama, literature, and the visual arts as conversation starters. Erika Dawes, an early childhood literacy professor at Lesley, does this with Jacqueline Woodson's storybook Each Kindness.

According to Dawes, "Each Kindness is the story of a young girl who engages in bullying behavior toward a classmate." "It's not your typical story because it doesn't have a happy ending." As a result, students are left with mixed feelings. And it's in this ambiguity that we can strike up a conversation."

5. Reduce the number of 'concentric circles' in schools.

Most teachers don't like to admit it, but educators can be bullies as well. When teachers are bullied by their coworkers, it can have a negative impact on their students.

"There are schools where bullying is a part of the adult culture," Patterson says. "My students tell me that other teachers, assistant principals, and department heads bully them in the classes I teach. If we live in a bullying culture, we must be much more vigilant in ensuring that it does not spread to the classroom."

Begin by looking within your own classroom to stop bullying from spreading from the top down to the students. Try not to bring negativity into your teaching after a bad day or tense interaction with a colleague. Concentrate your efforts on creating a positive, open, and supportive learning environment.

6. Take part in role-playing exercises.

It's one thing to theorize about how to prevent and respond to bullying in schools. It's a different story when you're witnessing it for the first time. It can be difficult for new teachers to know exactly how they'll react when bullying situations arise without adequate pre-service training.

The faculty at Lesley University's Graduate School of Education is taking action.

Lesley's creative arts and learning department is currently using technology to recreate the experience for pre-service teachers in a mixed reality lab, according to Maureen Creegan-Quinquis.

Pre-service teachers act as bystanders in a bullying scenario in the mixed reality lab. They're expected to react quickly to the situation and help find a solution while on their feet. Participants are frequently surprised by how difficult the exercise can be, according to Creegan-Quinquis.

"For many of them, this is the first time they've ever been in a room and experienced [bullying], and they're being asked to negotiate through those feelings," Creegan-Quinquis says. "When you're wide awake enough to see it happen, it's an electrifying experience."


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