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Signs Your Students Are Being Bullied, Why Do You Miss Them?

Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning
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It is true and incomprehensible that as teachers and education professionals that we miss our student’s signs that they are being bullied. Are our heads in the sand, are we too busy, are their grades and performance in school more important? Are the changes that subtle that we accept what is? Wouldn’t their parent have contacted you? Do we attribute some of the behaviors to parent neglect, parents too busy with their careers or to puberty, adolescence, stages in development?

We do all of these behaviors and rationalizations because it is painful to feel the hurt your student may be experiencing. Feeling pain and hurt is always resistible even when the people we teach every day and care about exhibit changes that may indicate they are suffering silently. It demands action on our part and this is often very uncomfortable especially for those who avoid confrontation at all costs. Teachers are just as guilty. And so we hope that it is only temporary and on their better days, we feel the relief and hope that somehow it all just disappeared. As teachers and parents, we have so many distractions both at school and at home. lCommunication emotionally is limited and we pick up less nuances and subtleties.

If you see those subtle changes, withdrawal from activities, less enthusiasm, less willingness to participate in your class, stop, observe and listen to their comments about what is going on around them. Their language will change. You will hear negative remarks, apathetic to school lessons and related activities, less talk with all around them.  Don’t jump to conclusions, just monitor their everyday choices and words. Make inquiries around school, especially about playground and lunch hours. Ask to speak to lunch aides and bus drivers. Call home! Ask the same hard questions. Do not confront the student until you have all the information and have a plan of action. Get advice from school counselors and parents you know that you can trust. If you can manage it, speak to a professional in your district.

Please, do not let the bullying go on! The effects can be life-threatening and long lasting and certainly affect their quality of life. As teachers and education professionals, it is time to listen more, observe more and step up to the plate. You often Your student more than their parents do.


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Karen Stone has over 35 years experience in education from preschool-college. She has a BA in Special Ed and MA in Learning Disabilities. Not only a professional in the field but also a parent of a child with significant disabilities. Her business experience includes 5 years as manager of an after-school tutoring program in 9 counties of NJ. She is currently the CEO of SoftStone Products, Inc. Karen has written children’s Emotional Intelligence programs (Pre-school-HS) research-based and piloted. This program is complete with classroom curriculums and parent guides. Karen writes an anti-bullying blog with now over 100,000 followers. She is currently giving in-service workshops in school districts receiving many positive comments. She is also a motivational speaker and author of a children's book and CD. Her passion and life’s work is helping to create emotionally safe environments in school and at home so that each child has the opportunity to reach his/her unique potential. She lost her beautiful son to Melanoma a year ago and has been able to sustain his passing thanks to her ability to maintain an emotionally safe internal dialogue. Currently, working to create a grief support group teaching these important life sustaining skills..

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Guest Monday, 22 July 2019