October 9, 2015

How to Create a Bully-Free Classroom

How do you create a bully-free classroom? Or, how can you get your students to understand the devastating effects of bullying & address it in your classroom? A sixth grade math and social studies teacher in Massachusetts, Nora Verzone, explains how teachers can help students who have been bullied, and lays out a plan to create a bully-free classroom. Learn additional ways to help make your school/classroom a safer place for all students to learn by enrolling in Course 712: Sticks & Stones. The No Bully Zone. This course will explore: school-wide anti-bullying measures, problem solving dialogue, the role of the bystander, building staff-to-student connections, supporting and empowering the targets of bullies, and more.

How toCreate a Bully-Free Classroom

  1. Create a set of predictable and escalating consequences.
    • When all students are given the same consequences for the same actions, they understand that everyone is treated fairly.
    • Students also need to see that consequences will escalate in a predictable manner, if they choose to continue the aggressive behavior.
  2. Maintain positive emotional tone with students.
    • Students are more likely to respond politely and respectfully if we interact with them in the same manner.
    • Monitor our own frustration and anger to avoid interacting with students in a negative way.
    • When consequences come from a predetermined set, we do not need to use anger as a tool for behavior management.
  3. Acknowledge positive actions in a descriptive way.
    • When students are told what they did well, it lets them know that they can be proud of their actions.
    • Students are more likely to repeat actions they are proud of, so describe what you observed them do. They’ll remember better the next time!
    • Help them see the natural consequences of their actions.
  4. Provide structured opportunities for youth to reflect on their actions.
    • When students reflect on their actions, they learn to accept responsibility for them.
    • When we help them see how their actions have affected others, we help them build empathy for others.
    • Over time, accepting that their behavior hurt someone else will lead them to change their behavior.
  5. Foster a climate where bystanders discourage bullying and befriend targets.
    • There is power in numbers. 85% of the school population are bystanders.
    • When they tell bullies to stop, tell an adult, or befriend a target, bullying behaviors will inevitably decrease.
    • Tattling vs. Telling- explain the differences between tattling vs. telling and how telling can be used to help students vs. just tattling for the sake of tattling.
    • Create a system for anonymous reporting of bullying.

For more ways to prevent bullying and discover new ways to reduce bullying, regardless of what level/subject you teach, enroll in Course 712: Sticks & Stones today!


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