Let’s face it, some kids can be mean. We all remember that one guy or girl who bullied us in school from our own experiences. Ideally, school should be a safe learning place for students that they are excited to return every day. Despite the many anti-bullying programs offered to students, bullying can continue outside the classroom and online. Here’s how you can minimize bullying in your classroom.
1.) Be aware of the social dynamics among your students.
It’s important to understand the social dynamic in your classroom because as a teacher you’re faced with the decision of assigning students classroom seats and group project teams or letting them pick their own seats and choose their own teams. Knowing the classroom social dynamic can help prevent unintentionally putting a student in a situation where they could get bullied. As it stands right now during the pandemic, students may soon face more cyberbullying that may go unreported, so it’s also important to stay alert of anything going on behind the scenes.
2.) Be a support system for your students.
If you notice a student is being bullied, you should definitely reach out to them and let them know you are here for support. But you should also let your students know you are available to talk–even if you don’t notice anything!
3.) End the bullying right away. Discipline accordingly.
Teaching tolerance explains that you must stop bullying in your classroom the moment you see it happening. However, they recommend getting the details later by talking to each student one-on-one. After sorting out the facts, discipline should follow according to an established set of procedures.
4.) Incorporate a diverse classroom curriculum.
Incorporating lessons that appeal to different cultures can help minimize bullying by teaching your students to be more accepting. Even if you are teaching a subject like math or science, there are still ways to incorporate other cultures. For instance, our games use Native American culture to teach math. We base our math word problems on Native American history, culture and traditions. Being diverse also means building a highly accessible learning plan that accommodates all students, whether it’s your lesson delivery or the theme of the unit you’re teaching.
5.) Limit Zoom access for students.
Limit students’ exposure to each other by allowing them to attend class off-camera and by disabling group or interpersonal chat features unless you’re doing an activity that involves collaboration. Not every feature needs to be used. Students have been known to screenshot each other or record using their own devices to harass others, so to mitigate this, it’s best to prevent chances of that happening as early as you can.
Digital Citizenship Curriculum
This website offers handy tools and resources to help your students become more aware of cyberbullying and how to keep themselves safe when browsing the web. They’re offered by grade and topic. Find solutions for media balance, digital drama, and digital footprints in addition to cyberbullying prevention and awareness.
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