Think for a few seconds about your class of dozens of students. Now imagine that every fifth child is bullied. As a class teacher, what can you do about the situation?
Based on the data of the National Educational Center for 2016, more than 20 percent of students reported bullying that occurred within the walls of the educational institution. This information reflects the negative interactions of students focused on progressive learning. In most cases, they are more likely than other groups of students to suffer from poor performance, sleep problems, anxiety and depression due to the situation. And let's not forget that children who are humiliated can become hostages of the early manifestation of “adult life,” starting with violent behavior and drug abuse * (* prohibited in the Russian Federation), ending with extreme car driving and unprotected sex. So what can you do based on your teacher’s position to have a beneficial effect on your students? How can you create a positive climate in the school classroom that can prevent and prevent bullying by students in the initial stages? The opinions of experts in the field of education and mental health, who evaluated the development of six different strategies, may help you.
1. Teach kindness and compassion
If students can approach an idea or problem from different points of view, they will be less likely to be intimidated by other people. From a very young age, students must participate in social and economic activities that promote personal growth and practical learning. As a teacher, you must find ways to encourage children to understand and accept their personality, encouraging them to make positive changes in their personality. But compassion and kindness will be required for these steps, two skills that can be learned from the perspective of Susan Patterson, a professor at Leslie University. “Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the place of another person, so teachers need to incorporate this skill into their curriculum.”Says Patterson. “We must work on the self-determination of children in the early stages of life, so that they understand who they are and who everyone else [people], as well as what place they occupy in the world around them”.One of the simplest ways to do this is to bring the children together, starting a conversation about their differences. Let them try to solve the conflict on their own, try to cope with problems and build their own relationships with people around them.
2. Encourage student engagement
Fostering a sense of community can reduce the risk of mockery and alleviate victim syndrome, targeted students. Studies show that the formed feedback with peers can encourage students to overcome bullying, and the ability to share problems with their relatives or close friends can save students not only from emotional risk, but also prevent subsequent bullying by more than 50 percent. “These numbers reflect the actual relationship”Says Nancy Birdall, who has set up a bullying prevention program in Newton’s public schools. “If students feel connected to their peers, school or group, they feel much better.”. The pedagogical beginning should proceed from the creation in the classroom of a safe place for self-expression and the opportunity to be heard. Try to develop students' social abilities to help them protect themselves and other group members. Extracurricular activities can engage students in hobby and interest-related activities, therefore, help help with employment even after school.
3. Identify hooligan motives
Researchers have found that some behaviors, in most cases, can signal an initial pattern of bullying. Despite their not obvious manifestation, and a partial departure from the attention of teachers, who often become hostages of the time. These signal indicators may be difficult to detect, but if you recognize them at an early stage, there is a chance that you could prevent the development of bullying behavior in your class. As a teacher, you should pay attention to the following key points of behavior:
- Eye play
- A long look at the other person
- Frequent and sharp turns back,
- Rough laughter / encouraging other people to laugh,
- Ignoring other people or excluding them from common activities,
- Causing physical harm,
- The pursuit,
Although these types of behavior can not be fully attributed to the behavior of a bully, but the attraction of attention to other, more useful activities will help reduce the likelihood of mockery in the classroom. “The study shows that the described behavior leads to bullying, so if we can not stop the children at the beginning of [unreasonable behavior], then we need to go a long way to solve the problem,” Patterson concludes.
4. Use all kinds of affordable art to create new material.
Art can be a powerful tool to help young people see the situation from different perspectives. Teachers using theatrical, literary, and visual arts as a means of communication can help children recognize the negative impact of bullying in students' lives. Erica Dawes, a professor of early childhood literacy in Leslie, uses the storybook “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson, which describes the story of the story of a young girl who engages in ungrateful and mocking behavior towards a classmate, says Dawes. “This is not a typical story in which there is no happy ending. And this implies that students will remain with conflicting emotions. Ambiguity is the perfect topic for conversation. ” After reading the book to students, Daws conducts an open conversation. By focusing on the issues raised in the story, she creates a safe and open atmosphere for students to start a conversation about bullying. These actions help her determine the presence of bullying behavior that may exist in the classroom without highlighting specific events.
5. Minimize the vicious cycle
This type of relationship, which most teachers try not to talk about, is that teachers can also show mocking behavior towards students. This will especially manifest itself if the teacher is humiliated by his colleagues and strives to express his bitterness with the weaker children. “There are schools in which bullying springs from adult cultures.”Patterson muses. “In the courses that I teach, my students tell me that they feel intimidated by their own teachers, head teachers and department heads. Being in a culture that encourages intimidation, we must be very diligent and prevent this negative factor from entering the class. ”. To stop bullying from leadership to students, start by looking for bullies in your own classroom. After an unsuccessful day or intense communication with a colleague, try not to bring negativity into your own business. Focus your energy on developing a learning environment based on positivity, clarity and support. But, do not forget to protect your person - take the time to talk with the head or staff specialist about problems arising in schools that could jeopardize the ability to provide professional and effective training.
6. Participate in simulations
Theorizing about preventing or responding to threats of bullying at school is one thing, but witnessing such cases is another thing. In the absence of prior training, it may be difficult for new teachers to know how they can respond to a negative situation. At the University of Leslie's Graduate School of Education, teachers are trying to solve this issue on their own. “Currently, we are using technology to recreate experience for pre-training teachers in a mixed reality laboratory.”“- says the Director of Leslie's Faculty of Education, Maureen Krigan-Quinquis. In a mixed reality laboratory, teachers, before starting the program, are promoted as outside observers involved in intimidation and mockery scenes. While standing, they are trying to respond to the situation in order to improve the evidence of the decisions made. According to Krigan-Quinquis, participants in the experiment are often surprised at the increased complexity of the exercise. “For many of them, this is the first opportunity in their life, to be in the [training] room and experience bullying in order to try to solve the situation on their own, and experience similar [with reality] feelings”- says Krigan-Quinquis. “But this is not an entirely electronic experience - you are awake enough to see live what is happening”.
Reasons for psychological harassment at work
The reason for bullying in most cases lies in the personality of the victim. Mobbing often involves notorious, emotionally sensitive, moody, and withdrawn people. However, it happens that psychological terror co-workers suit a strong extraordinary person with leadership qualities or a boastful, arrogant colleague. People do not like the "white ravens" and want to get rid of an employee unlike them. One of the common causes of bullying is envy. When a successful university graduate appears in a department where all employees are about fifty years old, he has every chance of becoming a victim of persecution. Colleagues will perceive him as a competitor and begin to poison him for fear of losing his job. In some cases, mobbing acts as a kind of “initiation” of a novice into the ranks of the team, so it lasts no more than a month. An experienced employee may become the target of bullying after an unexpected promotion or supportive attitude from superiors. Subordinates can team up to remove an objectionable leader. Even in a favorable-looking community, there is always an employee who does not greet, do not want to dine, discuss business matters. And at any opportunity they try to joke and point out flaws. Particularly cruel are women's groups. Family ladies often harass a young unmarried colleague. Gossip, provocation, reproaches for the lack of experience, ridicule and sayings like “What do you know about the family, do you even have a husband?” Appear. Or so: “Do you want to participate in the project? Work five years to begin! ”
How to avoid mobbing
Any person in a team can become an object of psychological terror. The main thing, according to psychologists, is to be friendly. Trawls can be avoided by observing simple behavior rules:
- Do not brag about your achievements, rich boyfriend, expensive car
- Do not show superiority over others
- Do not support gossip, do not humiliate colleagues
- Do not crouch in front of management
- Behave openly and naturally
- Respond adequately to comments
- Communicate with everyone, even if someone is ignoring someone
- Embrace corporate culture and attend community events
A newcomer to the team always needs to take a closer look and understand the relationship system. If the company has a dress code, you do not need to ignore it. When communicating with colleagues, you should not be interested in personal life. Curiosity is not a person's best trait. A good way to win the favor of colleagues is to bring a cake and invite everyone to tea. A group of people usually perceives a beginner as something unknown and even dangerous. It is important for a person to convince others that he is the same as them. To establish contact in the team, household questions will help: where to go for lunch, where to get carbon paper. Colleagues whom the novice will address with such questions will feel their importance, which will give them pleasure.
What to do to victims of bullying
Each pursuer wants to humiliate and subjugate a person, morally break him. Keep calm. In a situation where the potential victim does not respond to attacks, the initiator loses interest in her. But when the rumors turned into slander, and minor dirty tricks in the damage to property, such actions should be stopped, otherwise you can lose not only the workplace, but also health. It is necessary to identify the bullying initiator and directly ask: “What do you dislike about me?” This question will make it clear to the psychological sadist that the person has realized the situation and is ready to stand up for himself. A great way to deal with mobbing is to help your offender. For example, an aggressor puffs over a dictionary for half a day, trying to write a business letter in English. And the persecuted person volunteers to help him, since he is fluent in English. After such an act, it will be embarrassing to continue bullying. When a leader acts as a mobber, it is important to prove to him and colleagues his usefulness. Self-irony also helps. After all, when a person laughs at his own mistakes, he is invulnerable to offenders. However, in a situation where bullying does not stop for a long period, it is better to change jobs. Moreover, if a person is persecuted in different groups, then the cause of the conflict is clearly not in the people around him.
The consequences of mobbing
Mobbing victims are hard on the situation. Many fall self-esteem, insomnia, headaches, distraction appear. A person is in a chronic state of nervousness and does not know how to cope with stress on his own. Such people cannot concentrate on work or study; everything falls out of their hands. They often quarrel with relatives, break down to a cry. As a result, the object of bullying may end up on a hospital bed or commit a crime. What constant persecution can lead to is demonstrated in the Estonian drama "Class" by Ilmar Raag.
Psychologists around the world recognize mobbing as a serious problem. Most cases of bullying occur in offices, in educational institutions, in the army, and even in small towns, such as, for example, in the film “Hunting” by Danish director Thomas Winterberg. A psychological attack often arises from boredom, monotony and is entertainment for the team. In factories and factories where people are engaged in manual labor, cases of bullying are very rare. But the largest corporations lose billions of dollars annually due to the persecution of employees. In the USA, 33% of suicides occur due to mobbing. In France, between 2008 and 2009, 35 people working for France Telecom committed suicide. A wave of suicides was provoked by aggressive management practices by the firm's management. The Swedish authorities have officially recognized mobbing as a crime against the individual.
Any psychological persecution is destructive not only for the victim, but also for the team. After all, people are brought together by the process of bullying, rather than work responsibilities. It is important for management to create a favorable psychological environment among subordinates and not to lose sight of disagreements in the team. Only in this case, people will learn about mobbing not from personal experience, but from films.
Material prepared by Daria Lychagina