1. “When socially powerful children are grouped with children who are ostracized, the other group provides a rich climate for bullying behaviors.” (p. 92)
2. “Collaborate with grade-level peers and outside the classroom supervisors to keep the entire school safe and friendly for everyone.” (p. 153)
3. “All children have the potential to tease and exclude, even bully. For that reason it’s important to focus on ‘bullying behaviors,’ not ‘the bully’. (p. 167)
1. I like the idea of teaching objectively about bullying in the class in a non-judgmental way. This was brought up on page 162 when advising teachers to model respectful listening and ‘maintaining a calm non-judgmental expression on your face…acknowledge[ing] all of their ideas”. I agree that all students have the potential to bully, so it should be addressed with everyone as a class dynamic. I want my future class to be able to feel safe discussing these topics as well as being open to change and share how their actions may hurt another person.
2. In being collaborative, there are a lot of rich resources and assets outside the classroom – the computer teacher, the yard-duty workers, cafeteria workers and more who can help me as a teacher to see sides of my students that I do not have the privilege to see all the time outside the classroom. I think it is important that I communicate well with these people knowing that their jobs are very important to the health of the students in my classroom. I can start by knowing their names, build a good rapport with them and be in communication with them about my students.
One thing to try
1. I implemented another socio-gram with my 2nd grade class. I had done this before in my 4th grade class in my previous placement. I had noticed that the boys in my class were having a lot of problems getting along. I wanted to investigate who were the more “powerful” students socially and who were the ones who could be at risk. So, I asked the class to write two kids in their class they would want to sit next to.
Out of 25 students, 7 boys and 2 girls were considered “at risk” in that they did not have anyone who chose them. There were 5 boys in the group & 4 girls who were more “powerful” who had 3+ students choosing them to sit next to. I would like to investigate this further with possibly another socio gram to see how it changes. I also want to see why some students are being left out. Last week I caught one of the “powerful” boys talking about a “Cool Club” and one of the “weaker” boys told me privately that when you are not in the club, you are literally excluded from everything including being spoken to. The interesting thing is that same “powerful” kid has been a peacemaker in his class among boys who fight or not get along. Its confusing how humans can vacillate between doing good and then acting out of fear or insecurity and hurt one another.
I would like to know some next steps to take other than reprimanding these boys. How can I as one who is teaching a group of students who can potentially shift their positions as bullying to being bullied how to treat one another in groups and one-on-one – creating genuine community that is safe and life-giving? I am in the process of discussing these problems to my mentor teacher. It is the end of the school year and the temptation is to brush it off and think “it’s the end of the year!” However, I think that these behaviors are only going to get worse as they get older unaddressed.