In recent years, bullying has become a problem that has grown at an exponential rate. With young adults and teenagers facing tougher challenges and bullying becoming more common, many parents are now worried about the well-being of their children. The act itself ranges from taunts and teasing to harassment and physical threats. A bigger concern these days is cyber bullying.
It is essential to prevent any trauma on children arising from these bullying incidents. Parents and teachers must take immediate action against it. While parents do their part at home, teachers can play an immense role in affecting the behavior of the bully and the victim. In doing so, it can be highly effective in stopping the issue before it gets out of hand.
Here are some important aspects of the role that teachers play in the lives of kids/teens to overcome bullying.
- Discussing the problem
This is the easiest way to helping teens and younger children deal with the problem. A simple brain storming session for an essay or a story writing lesson can cover this discussion. Make sure your class understands well as to what constitutes bullying and perhaps, even draft their own set of rules against it. This helps them realize how certain everyday behavior could affect someone in a major way.
- Being observant
While it is often the case that teachers know who the bully is and may call them out on their behavior, they may not be completely aware of the sensitivity of the situation. It is essential that teachers are observant in identifying who the victims are and to what extent they are being affected. Teachers have the opportunity to interact with all students, so they should not only focus on calling out the bullies, but also to talk to the victims, and help them out with their problems as much as they can.
- Enforcing rules
While a class may have its own set of rules and regulations particular to the teacher, it is upon the teacher to ensure that these rules are being followed. Rules against bullying should also be enforced in the same way, to help eradicate the problem at the earliest time possible, and to prevent the situation from getting worse.
- Involving colleagues
While bullying often happens within a classroom, it also happens across different classes where a bunch of “cool” high school seniors may be bullying the freshman. Involving colleagues is a good idea since teachers can play the role of a guardian and help curb the problem within the classroom, as well as the school. This allows teens to develop a sense of self-confidence and perform better at school.
- Involving parents through teacher’s initiative
Involving the parents of both the victim and the bully is an essential part of the process. Teachers can prove to be the perfect mediator in such situation. It is up to the teacher – part of their responsibility to keep parents informed of how their child may be facing peer pressure and bullying, or how they may be involved in bullying other students. Teachers should be very careful to ensure that this information is not relayed back to the students directly, and corrective action is taken effectively.
- Empowering students
Most importantly is the teacher’s role as a source of empowerment for students who may be victims of bullying, or are bystanders in a situation and witnessing an act. Empowering them and encouraging them to stand up to bullies or teaching them to help out their fellow students can initiate a type of intervention. This can help students learn from the experience as well make them better and more successful human beings.
As a teacher, these roles and duties are essential to observe due to the increased pressure on students and with the greater exposure to bullying that these teenagers face.