Morning Pages – What Can Teachers Do About Cyber Bullying?

What I want to say here is that I will be the teacher where everybody feels comfortable enough to talk to me and tell me, “Yo, Ms. Anna, I’m getting bullied” and then I’ll be like “Ahh hell no, let me fix this” and then I talk to the kid and then they tell me they actually are just having a hard time at home and then I’m like “Dude, don’t even worry, I’ll be your home” and then I take this very troubled kid under my wing and everything is perfect.

Obviously, this is bull shit and will never happen. As I said in my last morning pages, I’m very grey; I don’t think there is only one way to handle bullies because every bully is different. Whether they aren’t as mature as their friends, they are being abused at home, they are behind everyone else in the class, they have a big ego problem, whatever; everyone is different and I honestly don’t know how I would handle it right now.

I feel like the only thing I am sure of is that I really would love to be the teacher that students do feel comfortable saying they are being bullied and I would do what I could to kind of build them up or stand up for them when I have the chance. Obviously, if I catch someone texting about another student I would take action and be like, “wtf, that’s hurtful and horrible. Stop.” But I kind of feel like I can only deal with what I know for a fact, which would hopefully be what some of the students feel comfortable confiding in me about.

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One thought on “Morning Pages – What Can Teachers Do About Cyber Bullying?”

  1. I love reading your posts because I know they’re going to make me laugh out loud. (Not a courtesy laugh either!) Your voice is so strong and REAL in your writing. I agree that we can only control cyberbullying if we know it’s going on, and that’s especially difficult to do outside of class. I’ve been doing some reading about bullying in general, and I was sort of surprised to learn that research shows that bullying comes from a place of shame. Consequently, shaming bullies (which is totally my first reaction as a teacher) isn’t effective. It just perpetuates the cycle. But that doesn’t mean you don’t call the bully out either. According to the research, you have to pull the bully aside, name the behavior, hold her/him accountable for breaking community norms, help/her him understand the impact of the bullying, enforce consequences, and identify next steps and expectations. Of course, if any student is in harm’s way, you have to go straight to the consequences part and figure out the rest later. Basically, what I’ve learned is that the process is way more complex that my instincts lead me to believe, but at least I now have a procedure to follow.

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