Back to School- Upstanding Teachers and Administrators
It is that time of year when all of the kids and teachers go back to school. We know that bullying is more common during the school year, but here are a few statistics about the frequency and effects of bullying.
- One out of every five students report being bullied.
- One in five tweens has been cyberbullied, cyberbullied others, or seen cyberbullying.
- Almost 50% of tweens said they experienced bullying at school and about 15% of tweens shared they experienced bullying online.
- 46% of bullied students report notifying an adult at school about the incident.
- School-based bullying prevention programs can decrease bullying by up to 25%
It might be sad and shocking how often bullying occurs in our kids’ lives. But what can be done about this?
Here are some ways teachers and administrators can help create an uplifting and upstanding environment for our students.
Teach kindness and empathy
When students care about each other and are able to approach ideas from multiple perspectives, they are much less likely to bully others.
As a teacher, finding ways to incorporate social-emotional learning can be crucial. Help children understand themselves and appreciate and respect others as well. Thankfully, skills such as kindness and empathy can be taught.
“Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and teachers need to embed this skill into their curriculum,” says Susan Patterson, a professor with Lesley University. “We need to do identity work with children early on so that kids know who they are and who everybody else is and what their place is in the world.”
Allowing time to practice conflict resolution, work through problems, and build an understanding of others can have a big impact on how students view themselves and their peers.
Create opportunities for connection
Giving the students a sense of community in the classroom has been shown to lower bullying incidents and create a healing environment for students who do experience bullying. Make bullying uncool in your classrooms and schools.
Studies show that teaching students to stand up for themselves and their peers when they witness bullying behavior can reduce future bullying situations by more than 50 percent. Teaching students to be upstanders can have a positive lasting impact on them for the rest of their lives.
Make sure the students know who they can talk to when bullying incidents do occur. In the ideal scenario, they have teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents or other trusted adults to turn to for help.
Teach students that being an upstander is cool and the right thing to do by being an example to them. Create a classroom and school culture that is welcoming, kind, and full of empathy. Children learn by example and are always watching.
We hope this year will be a great one for everyone! Students, parents, teachers, and administrators can all do their part to watch out for one another and prevent bullying. You are not alone.