Being a teacher is tough. Being a teacher in an environment where kids are being bullied is impossible. Kids don’t learn in an atmosphere where they don’t feel safe, physically or emotionally, and teachers need to have strategies for creating a classroom environment where kids are respectful and caring toward one another.
If you’re a teacher looking for positive ways to manage your classroom and prevent bullying, you can look for advice in a new book by Caltha Crowe called How to Bullyproof Your Classroom.
Crowe is a veteran teacher who now works as a consultant for the Responsive Classroom—a highly rated social-emotional learning program that promotes strong academics as well as positive social skill development for kids. Her book gives a wealth of research-tested interventions that can help teachers create a classroom of caring, including advice on such things as how to run a successful morning meeting, model caring behavior, and catch and discipline “gateway” negative behaviors, before they get out of hand.
Bullying continues to be a real problem in schools across the United States, garnering a lot of media attention. But bullying occurs outside of the classroom too, beyond the supervision of adults, particularly through online social media, like Facebook, where kids often post comments and pictures in the blink of an eye, without considering the consequences.
According to James Steyer, the founder of Common Sense Media and a professor at Stanford Univeristy, parents can and should do more to protect kids from this kind of cyber-bullying. He believes that cyber-bullying has become rampant in part because parents are unsure themselves of what constitutes a valid and acceptable use of technology.
In fact, many parents are less savvy about using the internet than their kids, making it hard for them to keep up with the ever-changing array of options for online connections and creating a situation where supervision can prove difficult.
To help parents navigate these shifting waters, Steyer has written a new book, Talking Back to Facebook, which outlines some of the risks involved in online use and what to do about it.
Steyer contends that letting kids go online from an early age increases their risk of developing ADHD, prevents normal social development, and could lead to an addiction to online gaming. Although he sees the advantages of kids becoming comfortable with online technology, he still finds that many if not most kids are spending way too much time staring at a screen.
Talking Back to Facebook provides concrete advice to parents on how best to limit and supervise kids’ screen time. Steyer’s recommendations cover all forms of online technology, including cell phones, computers, and TV, and are specific to different age levels, making them particularly helpful for parents.
So, if you need help protecting your kids from too much technology—whether it involves texting, surfing the Internet, or violent video games—this may be the book for you. And, if you take the book’s advice, you’ll be doing your kids’ teachers a favor in the process.
As any teacher knows, there’s only so much one can do to prevent bullying in the classroom, and parents are the first line of defense. Perhaps a concerted effort to end bullying by both parents and teachers—usually the most significant adults in kids’ lives—could really make a difference.
The way a kid behaves in school can be seen as a sign of how well the parents are bringing him/her up. In most cases an unhappy family leads to one becoming a bully.
Parents must realize that in the current world, where kids learn things so fast, it is utmost important that they keep their arguments behind closed doors and away from the kid’s ear.
Praveen Kumar | 8:05 am, July 19, 2012 | Link
Thanks so much for reviewing my book, How to Bullyproof Your Classroom. There is so much that we teachers can do to keep kids safe in school. Check out my blog at responsiveclassroom.org to learn more. Caltha
Caltha Crowe | 12:23 pm, July 28, 2012 | Link
Teachers creating a bully-proof classroom environment, as well as parents becoming more savvy about online media and increasing their awareness of how cyber-bullying happens are great ways to combat this nasty phenomenon.
I would also suggest for parents to stay open and be clued in on the emotional journey that a child goes through at school. If a child is being bullied at school, they need the guidance and emotional support. Being open to signals of distress and acting on them fast can nip potential bully attacks in the bud.
Sally Jeffers | 1:53 am, August 27, 2012 | Link