October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Bullying & Teachers

What Can Teachers Do About Bullying?

The Power of Teachers in Curbing Bullying

We all know that there are many factors involved in bullying including factors at the individual, family, classroom, school and community levels.

We also know that teachers, equipped with the right knowledge and policies, can be extremely effective at creating a classroom environment not conducive to bullying.

Teachers & Bullying in the Classroom

Aggressive students in classrooms supportive of aggressive behaviour become more aggressive. Conversely there’s less bullying in classrooms where all students are involved in activities, teachers display warmth and responsiveness and, importantly, teachers quickly and effectively respond to bullying incidents.

In one study following the transition of classes from elementary school to middle school, teacher attachment was the strongest predictor of lower bullying levels whereas factors like parental attachment were not significant. Student relationships with their teacher was critical.

Bullying Resource for Teachers: Top 10 Tips for How Teachers Can Stop Bullying & Create a Safe Classroom Environment

Reaching Out to Parents

Children that bully often have uninvolved parents. Teachers should try to involve parents in their children’s education wherever possible through school and classroom activities, homework checks, etc.

Bullying & Teachers: Problem Areas to Be Cognizant of

Teachers often underestimate the levels of bullying and victimization in their schools and classrooms.

In one study of 14 Northeastern US high schools, 57% of teachers incorrectly predicted that less than 10% of students at their school had been victimized. Only 9% correctly predicted that 29% reported being victimized. Elementary school and middle school teachers are often better at correctly predicting the level of bullying and victimization at their schools.

Challenges with Existing Anti-Bullying Programs

School administrators and teachers are often implementing anti-bullying programs with little guidance as to how to create lasting change in their classrooms and schools.

To complicate matters, less than ¼ of anti-bullying programs on the market right now are empirically validated. If your school is running an anti-bullying program, it’s likely that it has not been shown to be effective.

In schools where school-level anti-bullying policies exist, teachers are often not made aware of them or the policies are not adequately communicated.

Bullying Resource for Teachers: Top 10 Tips for How Teachers Can Stop Bullying & Create a Safe Classroom Environment

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