Review your own school’s policies and procedures. The following is a general overview of multiple schools’ policies and procedures to use as a guide if you choose:
A teacher’s approach on witnessing bullying
} Intervene immediately – your safety first.
} Show no emotion.
} Use professional body language.
} Don’t give the bully an audience – “Take them away”.
} If there were bystanders – ask them to stay put.
} Take the bully and the victim into separate rooms to deescalate.
} Return back to the bystanders. Tell the bystanders that the information they share is private and protected. Ask them in detail about what happened.
} Document everything
The best teacher I ever had was a man by the name of Jim Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell was habitually proficient and a true professional at his job, however that is not what made him the best teacher in my eyes. You see, Mr. Mitchell never threw away any valuable information. When a student told him something about themselves, he seemed to always remember it.
I was a Quarterback, but not for our high school football team. I played city rep football. Almost every Wednesday, I would hear “Hey Jimmy! Come over here and tell me about your game from last night”. I would sit down and tell him everything. He motivated me and I also trusted him because he showed interest in me.
One day, I had a group of students bullying me at school. I went from being a glass half full to a glass half empty. When Mr. Mitchell talked to me, he immediately noticed there was something wrong. When he asked, I told him about the group of students threatening me every day. The only reason I told him was because I trusted him.
He demonstrated his integrity by following the schools policies and procedures, and by doing this, he stopped the bullying.
To this day, I am still in contact with him.
Reminder: Don’t throw away any valuable information.
What to do if a parent approaches you with a bullying problem?
When a parent approaches a teacher with a bullying problem, move to an area which is more private and is not in front of the students.
} If you feel uncomfortable because the parent is irate, ask for another teacher to join you. DO NOT be confrontational or aggressive.
} Let the parent tell you what is happening and document what they say.
} Reassure the parent that you will investigate.
} Set up a date and time for the parent to be contacted to update them on what has been done and what the next steps are.