How Teachers Can Help Prevent Bullying

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than one in four students report having been bullied at school. And yet just 20–30 percent of bullied students notify adults, so the onus is largely on teachers and faculty members to be able to identify and stop this behavior – a daunting task, considering the workload. Bullying can lead to devastating results if the student who is getting bullied doesn’t get some much needed support, so it is imperative that the bullying stops before it starts to affect the student’s school and home life. 

Most bullying in the U.S. takes place in schools, outside on school grounds or on the school bus. Overall, 70.6 percent of students say they’ve witnessed bullying in their schools. When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. 

Research shows that action by adults can greatly reduce bullying behavior over time, but it is important to know what to look for and how to help when you do find a student being bullied. Here are some ways to identify, stop and prevent bullying so your students can enjoy happier, healthier school careers without the fear of being harassed. 

How to Recognize Bullying

As a teacher, you are the first line of defense against bullying. Preventing bullying and protecting your more vulnerable students from harassment is essential. It is important to know what you’re looking for — bullying is formally described as unwanted aggressive behavior with a perceived power imbalance.

Types of Bullying

Students don’t just get bullied in the classroom. There are several different ways bullying can be classified, these are:

  • Social bullying. This is when the student being bullied is excluded from a group on purpose, has rumors spread about them, and has other students being told not to be friends with them. This can be very isolating.
  • Verbal bullying. Verbally abusive behavior that involves name-calling, taunting, teasing and threats of harm.
  • Physical bullying. Actions such as hitting, being spat at, kicked, tripped or pushed. It can also involve breaking or stealing possessions.
  • Cyberbullying. This happens when others spread rumors online, share inappropriate information or pictures online, make threats over the internet, online impersonation or outing someone online.

Ways to Prevent Bullying

1. Build a Relationship with Your Students Right Away

Effective prevention of bullying starts with a positive classroom environment. When students feel safe and know that their problems matter, they will be more likely to share if they are being bullied. Make yourself available for them to open up and try to make them as comfortable as possible for doing so. 

2. Teach About Bullying in the Classroom

No matter the age of your students, having frank discussions about bullying is incredibly important. Showing students what bullying looks like may stop them from participating in it or even help out if they see it happen. Teach your students why bullying is bad, the consequences and why you will not tolerate it in your classroom. 

3. Know Your Schools Bullying Policy

Make sure you know how your particular school deals with the different kinds of bullying. Send out a newsletter or email to your class highlighting this policy and letting students and parents know you do not tolerate bullying in your space. Do not be afraid to enact the policy if you see bullying. Reporting it and acting fast can save lives.

4. Look for Warning Signs 

Since only around 20 to 30% of bullied students actually tell their teacher or other adult about being harassed, you can’t wait for students to come to you. Be proactive and look for the warning signs in your students. Children who may be being bullied may exhibit poor self-esteem, have lost or damaged belongings, mysterious injuries, be late or miss class altogether and exhibit poor grades or loss of interest in class. 

For signs of cyberbullying, look for increases or decreases in device use, students hiding their screen when others are near, or other changes related to discomfort or frustration with their devices.

5. Empower Your Students

Your students can be an essential part in helping to prevent bullying in the classroom. An effective way to prevent bullying in schools is to empower students to break the cycle by teaching them the ways to confront bullying behaviors. It is of great importance that if the student does confront their bully, they do it without any emotion or aggression, because it shows that they’re no longer a victim. More importantly, teaching kindness and empathy is of the utmost importance — those lessons can carry on well into adulthood.

Attention and Care at De Alba Math Center

You have enough work on your plate aside from being vigilant in preventing bullying in (and out) of your classroom. Planning lessons, vetting and acquiring additional materials, and managing your curriculum to accommodate your students is more than a full-time job. We’re here to help.

More than ever, educators and students will benefit from the flexibility and quality of De Alba Math materials. Our STAAR-aligned workbooks are available in both digital and printable consumables for maximum flexibility. Access prior and future grade workbooks to help students who may have learning gaps and those who are ready to surge ahead.

There is an easier way to plan your lessons and create equitable instructional opportunities — printed workbooks (consumables), seamless-to-integrate digital solutions, ideas, and services organized by TEKS, and categories to help Texas teachers in their targeted instruction planning. 

Get access to content-resources that can be used in hybrid blended models to close students’ academic learning gaps and teach at grade level. Get your De Alba Math Demo Free now!


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