Bullying in schools is nothing new. A child perceived as weaker or in some way different from his peers is often targeted by the bully or bullies. Bullying may involve physical intimidation; excluding the victim from a recognised ‘clique’ or gang, or cyber-bullying, which manifests itself as anonymous psychological abuse.
Here are some anti-bullying hacks to ensure peace and harmony in your classroom.
The first step towards eliminating bullying in your school is to be aware of how much, if any, takes place.
Look out for changes in the behaviour of pupils. For example, if a child who has always been outgoing suddenly becomes withdrawn, this can be a sign that they are being bullied. Unexplained absences from certain classes or on particular days can also be a giveaway that someone is a victim of bullying, as they seek to avoid classes where they will come into contact with their tormentor.
Educate your pupils to understand what bullying is
In some cases, children may be unaware that their behaviour constitutes bullying. Take the time to explain to your pupils what kind of activity is viewed as bullying and talk openly with them about how this kind of behaviour affects their peers.
Emphasise that bullying is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the behaviour takes place within school or outside of it.
Taking this approach will discourage bullies and give their victims the courage to report undesirable behaviour.
Actions and consequences
It’s very important for both perpetrators and victims of bullying to understand that their actions will reap consequences. However, in addition to punishing bullies, it’s also important to understand the reasons for their behaviour. In some cases, it may be necessary to refer a serial bully to your school counsellor to get to the bottom of why they behave in this way in an effort to help them.
Teach interpersonal skills
Integrate the teaching of interpersonal skills into your lessons wherever possible. If children can learn how to be assertive without being aggressive, many incidents of bullying can be nipped in the bud. These skills will also benefit pupils in the outside world.
You can make your pupils’ learning environment a more harmonious place by using these teaching hacks to address and prevent bullying in your school.