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Teachers, There's No Easy Way to Stop a Bully

You see, no one has control over another person’s actions. There is no one way that works 100 percent of the time to stop a bully.

 

Teachers can feel helpless when it comes to behavior in their classroom. Last spring I had a very well respected teacher say to me, “I became a teacher to teach, not to discipline.” 

I understand the frustration this teacher feels.  In order to be good at any job, we must acknowledge unwanted obstacles…things that are not the way they are supposed to be. In my mind, there are two options: Fighting those obstacles or addressing the obstacles and working towards fixing them.

In my experience, fixing those obstacles is the easiest and fastest way to get the job done.

I wanted to share a comment a teacher wrote on one of my blogs, as well as my response.

Shaista Ghaffar, teacher at Peel Board of Education, Toronto, Canada, area

“Cyberbullying/Bullying is not a problem among the students, there are teachers who are bullied by the students. Last June two of my colleagues took stress leave because they were constantly bullied by their students. The administrators did nothing to help the teachers."

My response: Shaista, Thank you for your comments. You are correct in saying that there are some teachers who are bullied by students and correct about saying that many times people who are being bullied feel helpless and unsupported.

In my experience, administrators do things that they believe to be the right course of action. It is typical that the other teachers, students and parents are not privy to the course of action that the administrator has taken. Students say that to me all the time, “Ms. Brown, that kid bullies and the school does nothing.” 

It is not that the school did nothing but it is just not appropriate to share the consequences with the entire school community.

The other things I see often are:

The school takes the actions they think are appropriate but those actions do not correct the bullying behavior. You see, no one has control over another person’s actions. There is no one way that works 100 percent of the time to stop a bully.

One of the most common things I see is that the school administrators (or teachers in the matter of kids being bullied in the classroom) don’t know what to do to correct the problem!

I have spent thousands of hours teaching administrators and teachers strategies to create and maintain a positive school climate. In order to create that, and before you will have success in stopping the bullying, you have to know how to address mean, negative and hurtful behavior. 

You have to address the small stuff first. Our programs are simple and they work!

Jill Brown, GenerationTextOnline

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

wyatt September 13, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I'm sure that in today's politically correct world, some people will have an absolute hissy fit about my comment, but here goes: In my 60 years it has been my experience, whether in school or later in life, that nothing stops a bully like a well placed punch in the nose. It teaches them two things, 1: they can't push everyone around and 2: there are severe consequences to their bad behavior.
Observor September 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Wyatt, consider the nail hit on the head. In my day we were taught that all bullies are cowards who attack only those who they think cannot fight back. In eighth grade a friend of mine absolutely flattened a kid who had been picking on him for months. Solved that bullying issue without any teacher/administrator involvement.
Jim October 14, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Yes that seems like it would solve the problem but now our kids are told that they cannot fight back and defend themselves and if they do, they will be arrested. That is what my son said the entire group entering JFK was told. So I guess they just have to take it on the chin and turn the other cheek if they get beat on otherwise they might wind up with a criminal record.

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