Whether you are a teacher, an ed tech, a parent or a student, you know that bullying happens around the clock, 365 days a year, in person and on line… and not just in October (bullying awareness month). The awareness that is brought to bullying during October is certainly helpful, but what happens in the classroom, on social networks, at the bus stop after all the commitments have been made, the new videos previewed, and everyone goes back to “business as usual”? How can we be sure that the lessons of and about bullying continue to make an impact into November, February, June?
What we have come across time and time again is that it’s increasingly important to incorporate bullying and harassment into the “unofficial” curriculum. That by creating a “safe space” for all students educators help to lessen any one students individual burden, whether that burden be as a target, a bully, or as a witness. Students need to know that they are valued, that their well-being is important, and that the adults in their lives are both compassionate and empathetic.
For some the question becomes how? How do we include even more into a curriculum that is already busy and hectic? Much like teaching a subject, it’s important to be prepared with resources, tools and techniques. One of the most comprehensive resources we came across here at NEI is the website edutopia.org. They have already compiled several of their existing resources, and from there the sky is the limit.
Looking for some day to day techniques to teach your students as they combat bullies? Check out Dr. Curwin’s article, “Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults” where he discusses 3 methods he has had great success using with his students. Looking for examples on how you can connect more directly with either one student or a group of students? Share with them your own story/stories of being bullied or harassed. The more your students have the opportunity to connect with you as a person, the greater the possibility that they will come to you in times of need or crisis.
Looking for an opportunity to expand on this and work with a cohort? Sign up for our online class EPSY 530: Bullying Prevention & Intervention, with teacher Tracie Peterson, January 25th – April 11th, and collect even more strategies to use with your students.