Teachers are not just there to teach a set curriculum to students, they also have a variety of other roles in the school. One of the most important is helping to stop bullying. Those who are victims of bullying will find their academic performance diminish rapidly so a teacher needs to be able to spot those who are suffering from the wrath of other pupils. Regardless of what school you teach in, it should have a strict anti-bullying policy otherwise it can get out of control. As a teacher, it is your duty to ensure that such behavior does not carry on under your nose.
Bullying takes place in a variety of forms but it is always harmful behavior and can never be tolerated under any circumstances. The most obvious form of bullying is that of a physical nature. One student or a group of students repeatedly target a pupil and perpetrate violence against that individual. Name calling is a serious issue but is one that seems to be ignored a lot of the time. To do this ignores the emotional anguish it can cause the victim. Deliberately excluding someone from activities is another form of bullying and this is again emotionally harmful. It is important to note that bullying will continue relentlessly until it is halted. If someone can get away with such vile behavior there is no reason for them to stop it.
Those who are victims can be hard to spot but you must do your best to try and discover if a student is having trouble with their fellow pupils. If you notice that a student of yours has suddenly become more withdrawn and refuses to participate in activities that they used to then this is a sure sign that they are experiencing bullying. It is rare for a victim to voluntarily tell a teacher what the issue is for fear for repercussions so it is up to you to gently coax it out of them.
Once you have successfully got to the root of the problem you must confront the bully. Make it clear that a continuation of such behavior will see them expelled. Be sure to make the victim feel safe by promising and delivering protection from the bully who is now angry that their treatment of the victim is out in the open. Ensure that you spend some time with the victim before allowing them back into their peer group. Isolate the bully from their usual environment so that they know their punishment includes exclusion. This should work wonders because all bullies seek attention more than anything. Yet it is crucial that you don’t push the bully away. They should be allowed return to their peer group with the understanding that they must improve their behavior.
Placing the bully in some sort of mediation program is a great way to modify their attitude. This lets them know that their actions are genuinely harmful and if they see the damage it does to the victim they may change their behavior in time. No matter what else you do, you absolutely must give fully support to the victim and don’t brush the whole incident under the carpet. Your students need your protection when they are within school walls otherwise their performance will drop and the whole classroom will suffer.