It's often said that children can be cruel, and bullying has been around since time immemorial. But just because it's common doesn't mean it should be normalized. Historically, bullying has been written off as "kids being kids," or conceptualized as a necessary hardship that helps build character. In reality, it can cause serious damage. Victims of bullying can develop depression and anxiety, begin engaging in self-harming behaviors, and are at greater risk of substance abuse. It can take years for people to overcome the damage that childhood bullying can cause.
A school-wide bullying awareness program is a great way to draw attention to the problem, helping educate students about what to do if they're bullied or if they witness someone else being bullied. This can include an anonymous tip line, educational resources, and other measures to strongly discourage bullying and encourage kids to speak up.
1) Make Sure Children Understand What Constitutes Bullying
"Bullying" can be broadly defined as unwarranted aggressive behavior between children or teenagers, reflecting a real or perceived power imbalance. This behavior is generally repeated over time, and can be physical, verbal, or relational. The repetition, aggression, and power issues are central to bullying. Sometimes victims are singled out because they’re different, or because they're perceived as weak. At other times, it's essentially "random" from an outsider's perspective.
2) Acknowledge The Different Kinds of Bullying
Bullying isn't just about physical violence, which is often how it's characterized in media. Some children do bully others by hitting, punching, or otherwise attacking them, but this isn't the only way that aggression can manifest.
Today, with the rise of "zero tolerance policies" and greater general awareness of physically violent bullying, it's probably less common than it was thirty years ago. But verbal aggression is also a form of bullying. Children that tease, name-call, taunt, or threaten other children are engaging in bullying behavior.
There's also "social bullying." This is often called “relational aggression” when it’s observed in girls, especially preteens and teenagers. This includes passive-aggressive and indirect things like leaving someone out, telling other people not to be friends with the victim, embarrassing or humiliating someone in public, and spreading malicious rumors. This isn't always immediately recognized as bullying, either by authority figures or by the victims. It’s quite subtle, and it's very difficult for adults to catch on.
Cyberbullying is arguably a subset of social and verbal bullying, but today, it's more common than ever. It’s been around since at least the early to mid-2000s, when instant messaging was popular and youth began to use the internet regularly. Today, it's still rampant, and because it happens off of school property, it can be difficult to address. This kind of bullying offers no respite to the victim. They can be exposed to it 24/7, and it's difficult to escape. Cyberbullying messages and social media posts can be created anonymously, complicating the issue of culpability. Sometimes it may be impossible to tell who's actually doing it. Studies have shown that victims of cyberbullying are more likely to abuse drugs, skip school, get poor grades, and develop mental and physical health problems.
3) Encourage Children to Empathize with Victims
Bullying is primarily a relationship issue. Children often engage in teasing, name-calling, and other minor bullying without quite realizing the harm they’re causing. It can be important to emphasize the way that bullying makes the victim feel.[click to continue...]
Today's university campus is more than just a place to attend classes and conduct laboratory research. Colleges today are almost like a small, self-contained city in their own right. From housing accommodations for students, to amenities like gyms and cafeterias, to places where students can hang out and socialize, it's possible for college students to spend almost 100% of their time on campus. In fact, many of them do.
Over the last few decades, legitimate concerns have been raised about campus safety and security. Incidents like the Virginia Tech tragedy, along with lower-profile crimes like muggings and assaults at night, have drawn attention to the importance of keeping university campuses safe and secure for the students that live and study there. Today, campuses across the country are making an effort to enhance their security, helping students feel safe and protected.
Elements of Campus Security
What makes a campus safe? Many administrators aren't entirely sure how to answer this question, and experts often recommend having a full security assessment conducted by qualified professionals. Campus security is more than good locks and adequate outdoor lighting at night: it’s a holistic undertaking meant to ensure that students are safe, and just as importantly, that they feel safe.
Any campus should have an appropriate number of trained and qualified security or law enforcement personnel on duty at all times. Depending on the size of your institution, you may be required to comply with guidelines associated with the Crime and Awareness Campus Security Act of 1990, which was an amendment to the existing Higher Education Act of 1965.[click to continue...]
Whether it's baseball, football, basketball, or another sport, coaching high school athletic teams certainly has its challenges. If you are just starting out on this rewarding, yet sometimes frustrating, path then these tips will help you get started off on the right foot:
1. Make Sure the Word is Spread for Tryouts
In a high school setting especially, you want to make sure that every kid has an equal opportunity to get on to your team. Be very verbal about your upcoming tryouts, post signs around the school, and ask that it be announced over the PA system. If your school is set up with a school notification system like DialMyCalls, you may even consider sending SMS text messages to the parents to help build up excitement for your team.[click to continue...]
Since the first classroom was opened, teachers have searched for ways to help them open the minds of young students. Imagine how lucky early teachers felt when they were first introduced to a blackboard, or even just desks for their students. Education has come a long way, and with the introduction of the computer and internet, a teacher can now focus almost all of their attention on ensuring that they create an interesting learning environment that sparks a child's thirst for knowledge.
Technology Helps Teachers Save Time
Almost all technology geared toward education takes time into consideration. Teachers spend a great deal of time, both on the clock and off, grading papers and planning lessons. Online lesson planning tools and calendars are extremely helpful for managing the entire year, not to mention the day to day activities and will save a teacher a lot of time once implemented. Planbook.com for example, will help in developing custom schedules for each class. You can attach links and files to easily access any information related to a lesson and even allow the students to view the schedule for their class online. This is certainly a step up from the handwritten log books teachers have been using for decades, and gives teachers more time to focus on their primary responsibility.[click to continue...]
School administrators are just as strapped for time as the teachers who work directly with the students. It is your duty to keep track of the many school rosters, ensure that there are no overlaps in scheduling and keep the different groups of people involved in your school up to speed with what is going on. Even a principal of a small school knows that all of this is not an easy task to accomplish.
Simplifying Communication is the First Step Towards Simplifying Your School Day
School principals, secretaries and support staff talk with a lot of people during the day. There are a lot of inside school conversations taking place, but there is also a lot of time being spent on sending various communications to the parents of their alumni. Emails about upcoming meetings from the principal, field trip information from teachers, and vaccination reminders from the school nurse make up just a small percentage of a school's outflow of information.[click to continue...]
While most teachers take the summer off to enjoy a well deserved break, there are those who brave the heat and disgruntled students. For these daring teachers, trips to the beach are only for the weekends, as their weekdays continue to be filled with lesson plans. If this is your first summer taking on desk duty, try these tips to help you survive:
While it may be difficult to roll out of bed to an alarm clock knowing that your colleagues are still sleeping in, it is important that you keep a positive attitude when teaching summer school. Your students are likely to be more distracted than usual, but if you enter the class each day with a big smile and bursting with energy, that attitude will soon become infectious, making it a more positive experience for everyone.[click to continue...]
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