Problems with Bullying? Top Tips for Teachers, Parents and Pupils!
Choose Respect! – Anti Bullying Week!
Top Tips for Teachers & Parents!
Teachers – How to Tackle Bullying!
Dealing with bullying can be one of the toughest challenges teachers face – but ignoring it won’t make the problem go away!
Use these Top Tips to tackle bullying in your school:
If you see or hear of bullying occurring, whether it’s in the classroom, playground, corridor or outside of school grounds (via social media etc), speak out and take action. Early intervention, effective discipline and a practical anti-bullying policy within school is key to help prevent and conquer bullying.
Hold bullies responsible.
Confront ‘bullies’ about their behaviour and hold them responsible for their actions. Ensure to confront them in private rather than publicly in front of peers as this could lead to further aggression. Bullies also thrive on secrecy, intimidation, and humiliation and count on their victims’ silence, so encourage openness. Openness is key to reducing and eliminating bullying so urge pupils to talk to their parents, teachers and peers. As a school, Restorative Approaches are also a great tool to help solve issues and repair relationships.
See it, say it, sort it!
It is vital that teachers encourage children to report bullying when it occurs whether they are a victim or a bystander. To counter resistance from pupils when it comes to reporting bullying, it may be a good idea to set up bullying hotlines and bully boxes which will allow pupils to drop a note in the box to alert teachers about bullying.
What are you doing?
Every school should have a clear procedure of how to investigate reports of bullying. To tell a child you ‘will deal with it’ doesn’t fill them with overwhelming confidence, so explain to them what you plan to do. Help them be involved in overcoming the bullying to empower them and raise their confidence. Make sure the pupil also agrees with your ‘plan of action’ and knows you are taking the bullying seriously.
Create a buddy system.
Whilst the bullying is being investigated, assign the pupil a buddy who can offer emotional reassurance and protection during school hours.
Help to combat bullying make a set of ‘ground rules’ for the classroom which all pupils are involved in creating and are required to follow. These rules will act as a guideline of how they should treat each other on a daily basis and should be clearly posted in the classroom and around the school. Using this approach is also a great use of pupil voice.
Remember & Record
Keep a clear record of all bullying accusations and incidents and remember not to forget about a bullying incident even if it has been resolved. It is also important to keep an eye on all parties involved to ensure there is no continuation of negative behaviour – don’t allow yourself to be deceived by a facade.
Condemn bullying and reward inclusion
Encourage pupils to stand up to bullies and take an anti-bullying pledge which negatively and openly condemns bullying. It is also a good idea to reward pupils (using growth mindset praise, certificates etc.) for positive and inclusive behaviour.
Educate about bullying
Provide your pupils with activities and discussions in the classroom related to bullying, the harm it causes and good strategies which can be used to reduce bullying. Involve pupils in establishing rules against bullying and teach them steps they can take if they see it happening.
Get parents involved!
Get your pupils’ parents actively involved in your bullying program. If parents are not aware of what is going on at school, then the whole bullying program will not be effective. Parental awareness is key.
A child’s self-esteem, ability to learn and resilience can be dramatically affected if they have endured bullying in school. It can also cause long term effects on a pupil’s physical and mental health which could mean they may need more emotional support than you first realised.
Schools and parents must educate children about bullying behaviours in order to allow all children to feel safe and secure at school. The school must adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding bullying and children who bully need to be taught empathy for others’ feelings in order to change their behaviours.
Parents – Worried your child is being bullied?
Here’s what to do:
- Communicate with your child – ask them what has happened, listen to the whole story and try not to interrupt. Be calm even if you feel upset or emotional, your child needs you to be strong. Ask your child how it makes them feel and remind them that it is okay to be upset. Reiterate bullying is never right.
- Don’t expect your child to have all the answers and to solve the issue by themselves. Ask your child what they would like to happen before making any suggestions of your own and encourage them to talk to their teacher. Accompany them for moral support and reassure them that you will solve it together and that they are not on their own.
- Keep a log of any incidents including who was involved, where and when it occurred and if anyone else witnessed it. Contact the school to ensure the bullying is being taken seriously and acted upon in line with their anti-bullying policy. Do not attempt to confront the person or their family yourself
- If your child asks to stay home, explain to them it won’t help the situation and that they shouldn’t let their bully get the better of them or their education. Suggest to your child and their teacher about a buddy system to reassure your child and offer them emotional support.
- Discuss bullying at your school PTA to ensure all parents are aware of what is happening and that steps are being taken to resolve the issue in line with the school’s anti bullying policy.
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