It has often times been stated that “teachers are there to teach” and not be counselors, wardens, bouncers or psychologists when it comes to kids and bullying. Teachers spend infinitely more time with kids throughout the course of a day, more time than parents spend with their own kids. Teachers are there to teach, that is what they get paid for, but they also get paid to facilitate a safe learning environment (schools) and after all they are human, so seeing a child being picked on alone should make them want to help remedy the situation.
What can teachers and adults to help stop bullying? There are many things adults can do, from improving their listening skills, to taking workshops on bullying. Teachers can fit in by:
1) Being trained to intervene effectively and discern between bullying and child conflict. Take training session or workshops on bullying.
2) Adults have to deal with bullies using a no-nonsense style of intervention. Sitting on the fence or turning a blind eye is the reason the incidents of bullying have lasted way too long!
3) When dealing with bullies, always use pro-social consequences whenever possible and always have the consequences fit the offenses. Explain things to the bully so they understand.
4) It is extremely helpful for the adult to help and correct the bully’s erroneous thinking patterns in each interaction with them.
5) It is important to help build empathy skills in bullies by taking time to identify a victim’s emotional state and describing the cues to determine it. Some bullies lack empathy skills.
6) Adults should always try to identify positive behaviors and correct the negative thinking of bullies and reinforce both. It is most likely bullies have always been criticized for what they have done wrong, rather praise them for what they do right!
When it comes to correcting bullying, it is not rocket science!