Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bullying Primary School

Is Bullying a Problem at Your School? Find Out by Surveying the Students
One of the biggest problems concerning bullying in schools is that the staff may not even be aware that bullying is even taking place. The primary reason is that bullying behavior is extremely covert. Bullies don't want to get in trouble, so they physically harass their victims when adults are not present. One of the ways bullies accomplish this is by indirect bullying. Indirect bullying is even more difficult to detect than physical bullying. Students use cyber bullying to attack their victims by sending threatening text messages and using the internet to do the dirty work for them.

Since bullying is so difficult to detect, how can a school determine if they have a bullying problem? The answer is simple: survey the students. By surveying the students, the staff will be provided with valuable information. If done correctly, a survey can specify how much bullying is taking place, where and how often it is happening, and which students are being bullied.
Many staff members may already know the students who are physically bullying others, but a survey will help determine the students who are indirectly bullying their classmates. Numerous surveys about bullying have been designed. Planning ahead is important because some surveys may be difficult and time consuming to grade. Depending on the time and staff available to conduct and grade the surveys, campuses may want to consider using a multiple choice survey and have the students answer on a bubble sheet that can be graded with a machine. I highly recommend that staff members do their homework before surveying the students. Bullying is a real and potentially life-threatening problem. Staff members must be confident that the survey they use will provide them with an accurate picture of the bullying problem. Speaking with other campuses who have conducted a survey is a great way to determine the type of survey to use, the time it takes to conduct and grade the survey, and, most importantly, determine if the results of the survey were beneficial in reducing the number of bullying incidents at their campus.
Indirect and cyber bullying may be difficult to detect, but not impossible. By surveying your students, you give them the ability to voice their opinions safely. This, ultimately, will assist in lessening the number of bullying incidents in your school.
I was a bully in middle school. I became the victim of bullying and it was no fun! Stepping into the shoes of those I used to abuse, I quickly realized what a horrible experience it is to be a victim of bullying. During my seventh grade year, I spent much time bullying my classmate "Mike" (not his real name). Mike was physically and mentally handicapped. One day, I decided that I was not going to bully Mike or any other students. I made the decision that during my eighth grade year, I would protect the students who were being bullied. When the school year began, I had no way of knowing that the bullied student would be me. Fear. Initially, the threats were subtle. Finally, I decided that I should avoid the bully. Confronting Joe was another strategy I contemplated using.
I was physically smaller than Joe and I also knew that getting into a fight would lead to trouble at school. My grades started to suffer. In class, it was difficult to pay attention to the teacher. My thoughts were focused on Joe and how I was going to avoid him. The evil smile on his face almost paralyzed me with fear. Noticing a piece of leather in Joe's hand and anger in his eyes, I was terrified! The fear returned. My teacher approached me to see if I was okay. That night, I told my parents. After speaking with one of my teachers, the abuse stopped. Telling an adult should be the first step for all students who are victims of bullying. For some students, though, this strategy may not work. My parents and teacher supported me and did their best to help. This learning experience has really shaped the person I am today. As a former classroom teacher and administrator, I dealt with bullying and bullies almost on a daily basis. As a bully expert and professional speaker, I work with schools to help eliminate bullying. If you are concerned that your child may be a victim of bullying, don't wait until it's too late.
Communicate with your child every day and ask if other students at school are bothering him/her.
If your child admits to being a victim of bullying, please support him/her and work together to find a solution.
Encourage your child to speak to an adult, e.g., teachers, counselors, or administrators about the problem.
The fear associated with being a victim of bullying is real. Educating the students, school staff and parents about bullying is the first line of defense. Bullying can be stopped. No child deserves to go through this experience.
What happens in this school matters. If our children are in the wrong school, there is unhappiness, poor achievement, worry and even bad feeling. We blame the school, ourselves or our children. They are unhappy - not just in the school but also in the evening worrying about tomorrow and feeling wretched on the journey to school. We waste precious time visiting the school in unhappy circumstances instead of feeling proud and pleased.
With a bit of care you can set the scene to avoid this and help to give your child a good school career.
1. you want your child to be happy
2. you want a good education for your child
3. you want to be able to trust the school
Happy children learn quickly and grow confidently. Children are happy if they feel purposeful and appreciated; praised for their successes; encouraged through their mistakes; and treated fairly along with their school-mates.
Visit the school and watch the children. Are children playing happily together in groups? Watch the oldest children - the ones who have been in the school the longest. How many isolated children can you see? Is there a sufficient number of adults supervising and are they engaged in conversation or activities with the children? You know your child. Consider how your child will fit into this.
Check the school's test and assessment results. Are the results improving over time?
How important does the school consider creative activities such as art and music? Will your child be taught effectively and treated fairly? How well does the school support those pupils with special educational, physical or emotional needs? Read the prospectus. Trust
How can you recognise a good school that you can trust? Visit the school; be friendly and open. Has the school made an effort to look bright and cheerful? You can often see how much the school values its children by the quality and cleanliness of the toilets.
How do the teachers talk to the pupils? Are there after school activities?
Does the school have a clear policy on responding with parental complaints? Is the school a safe place for children to be in? What does the school do about bullying?
Are children given responsibilities around the school? The best schools get pupils involved thoroughly. Some have a "school council". Ten minutes before the end of school is a good time. How do they feel about the school? The school you have your eye on may be over-subscribed.
Taking this care will give your child the best opportunities.


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