Bullying is a common occurrence in schools, and for a classroom teacher, it becomes challenging to take meaningful steps to prevent this action. Regardless of the age of the students that one teaches, bullying finds its way to the classroom where they abuse each other, verbally, emotionally, and physically. In every school, at least twenty percent of the students are reported to be bullied in school, and in most cases, the educators do not have an idea of the measures that they should take.
In this case, being an eighth-grade teacher requires one to become cautious about the measures that one chooses to eliminate bullying in the classroom. The paper discusses the physical, emotional, and social types of bullying and possible solutions that a teacher can provide in a classroom environment.
In the case, one would term Tasha’s scenario as bullying because Keisha and Emily’s actions have been to demean her, which has a significant impact on her performance.
Considering that Tasha is new at the school, she is not familiar with the school environment. In addition to this, Keisha and Emily know that Tasha has a scholarship for tuition, which means that she is from a humble background. The girls enjoy taunting Tasha, and this demoralizes her and affects her emotions. However, Wang, Berry & Swearer (2013) assert that the students are more likely to participate in bullying because they are allowed by the unhealthy climate. In addition to this, the case records that Tasha’s performance has been deteriorating.
As Tasha recounts the events and things that her friends have been doing to her, one gets uneasy because it is a form of bullying that she confronts. Keisha and Emily are taking advantage of Tasha to show off their superiority because she is a new member of the classroom and group.
Tasha is going through relational aggression, which is an insidious type of bullying that goes unnoticed by the parents and teachers. Emily and Keisha had been taunting Tasha although Tasha is unable to express herself to display the effects to others. Tasha enjoys being in the company of her group because she gets a sense of belonging. Emily and Keisha are relational bullies because they use situations to manipulate their fellow students and to increase their social standing to control another person. For example, after the three girls play together in the field and win the game, Emily sticks her foot at the aisle and causes Tasha to trip rolling on the floor which is a form of physical bullying. Due to such incidences, one requires sufficient knowledge of the severe cases of bullying to intervene according to the school rules.
As an educator, one has a responsibility to promote the attitudes and behavior of students by creating an environment where they are unable to bully others. In addition to this, an educator needs to create awareness on the effects of bullying and the consequences that it has on other individuals. The only solution for the type of bullying that Tasha is going through is to change the attitudes of the two girls and show them the value of respecting other students. Also, bullying can occur randomly and regularly in the classroom and the school environment (Mitchell, 2017). In some instances, the school climate is unclear, and it becomes difficult to control the activities that children engage in. One will know that the solutions are effective by observing the attitudes of young children.
Tasha is going through verbal bullying as the case mentions that Keisha scribbles out a hurtful poem about the outfit that Tasha wears because she has stains under her arms. The verbal abuse causes other students to speak ill of Tasha, which is traumatizing. Therefore, as an educator, one should be open to the fact that students want to be understood and supported. The solution to this problem is to have open communication with the students by creating a friendly environment that disapproves of bullying behavior. Catholic Teachers (2013) asserts that an unhealthy school climate not only encourages a negative relationship between students but also with the teachers as a teacher, one should be approachable to allow the students who are bullied into expressing themselves, which will improve the school climate. In addition to this, the bullies should be enlightened on verbal discipline and how to use a formal language while interacting with others.
Tasha suffers from social bullying because of the public embarrassments that she goes through. An educator should be ready to punish and reward behavior when appropriate. Keisha and Emily should be disciplined, and their parents should also be involved to ensure that they understand the behavior of their children (Bradshaw, 2015). Even though it takes time to adapt to a new school, the girls should have been more friendly and welcoming to ensure that she becomes familiar with the environment. Teachers in the classroom environment teach such values. Besides, it is essential to note that students have different cultural and family backgrounds, with such comprehension, a teacher can distinguish how each student is likely to respond to situations in the school environments (Gaffney, Ttofi & Farrington, 2018). For instance, Tasha could be coming from a background where bullying behavior is perceived to be normal among her peers, and due to the will to fit in, she is unable to speak out.
The biblical response to bullying is encouraging the students to possess the fruits of the spirit. “By their fruit, you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:20). The fruits of such behavior take away people’s peace and joy; the educator has the role of educating and training Keisha and Emily with love (Carroll & Prickett, 2008). The bible also recommends that individuals should treat others in the same way that they would want to be treated. The students should understand such facts that are based on Christian teachings. The bible also encourages openness to the parents, administrators, and particularly the classroom teacher who help to solve the problem. Also, the students should learn to reach out to those who are bullied because it is impossible to handle such situations alone as they could result in trauma.
In conclusion, bullying in school happens frequently, and from Tasha’s case, it could be verbal, physical, or social. As a classroom teacher, one is responsible for creating an environment where positive relationships are encouraged. Researchers agree that the only way that bullying is eliminated in schools is by improving the school climate, which should be incorporated in the school curriculum. Emily and Keisha have emotional, social, and ethical problems that explain their actions to seek recognition and superiority in the school environment. On the other hand, Tasha struggles to fit into the new school environment. The most important aspect is that of enhancing the relationship among students to reduce peer aggression.
Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). Translating research to practice in bullying prevention. American Psychologist, 70(4), 322.
Carroll, R., & Prickett, S. (2008). The Bible: Authorized King James Version. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Paperbacks.
Catholic Teachers. (2013). Elementary Bullying Prevention Resources for Teacher-Librarians and Classroom Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.catholicteachers.ca/OECTA/media/pdfs/Curriculum%20Resources/elementary_bullying_prevention.pdf
Gaffney, H., Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2018). Evaluating the effectiveness of school-bullying prevention programs: An updated meta-analytical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior.
Mitchell, K. (2017). Bullying in Our Schools: The Impact of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
Wang, C., Berry, B., & Swearer, S. M. (2013). The critical role of school climate in effective bullying prevention. Theory into Practice, 52(4), 296-302.
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