Every student needs a friend. For those who are shy, finding the courage to speak up and engage a classmate may be next to impossible. As a result, these students, unsure on how to bridge that social divide, may pull away from their peers. When a student sticks to his or her self, it makes them a prime target for bullying because they have no one standing in their corner. We can’t expect teachers to catch every instance of bullying but there are several warning signs every teacher should know that may help them identify bullying in their classroom. Knowing the warning signs makes it easier to intervene and put an end to the abuse.
Remember: boys and girls bully each other in different ways. Male bullies are often more physical and may provoke fights. Girls tend to bully on a mental/emotional level, resorting to gossip, ostracizing, and verbal fights. StopBullying.gov, a truly excellent resource for parents, teachers, and students, offers several signs that a child may be a bully:
Get into physical or verbal fights
Become increasingly aggressive
Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
Are competitive and stressed about their reputation/popularity
They also identify signs a child is being bullied:
Declining grades/decreasing class participation
Self-destructive behaviors (like skipping class or talking about quitting school)
Faking illness/frequent headaches or stomach aches
Lost or destroyed property such as books, clothing, or electronics
Knowing the warning signs is great but wouldn’t it be better if we put a stop to bullying altogether? How can teachers create an atmosphere where bullying isn’t a problem? One solution: team building!
Team Building Activities
Erie County is home to over 130,000 students between Kindergarten and 12th Grade. With such a broad community in the City of Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs, it makes sense to promote diversity and celebrate culture within the classroom. You can’t promote diversity though if students don’t cooperate and look beyond outward appearances.
Unicef Kid Power has compiled a list of “22 Fun Team Building Games & Activities for Kids” which they broke down into indoor vs outdoor activities, and activities by grade levels. Talk to your principal about setting a date for a school-wide team building day or inquire about grade specific field trips to a local community center where your students can get out of the classroom and have fun while learning!
Community Centers In Your Neighborhood
This is just a very small list of community centers I was able to find online with gymnasiums and facilities that schools can look into using for their Team Building Days!
Buffalo, NY Community Centers
Harlem Road Community Center
Address: 4255 Harlem Rd, Amherst, NY 14226
Phone: (716) 631-7200
North Buffalo Community Center
Address: 203 Sanders Rd, Buffalo, NY 14216
Phone: (716) 874-6133
Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo (Benderson Family Building)
Address: 2640 N Forest Rd, Getzville, NY 14068
Phone: (716) 688-4033
Gloria J. Parks Community Center
Address: 3242 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 832-1010
Rochester, NY Community Centers
Humboldt Recreation Center
Address: 1045 Atlantic Ave, Rochester, NY 14609
Phone: (585) 428-7294
Flint Street Recreation Center
Address:271 Flint St, Rochester, NY 14608
Phone: (585) 428-7001
Edgerton Recreation Center
Address: 41 Backus St, Rochester, NY 14608
Phone: (585) 428-6769
Thomas P Ryan Recreation Center
Address:530 Webster Ave, Rochester, NY 14609
No parent wants to believe their child is a bully, nor does any teacher want a student to feel unsafe in the classroom. With a little reinforcement from my “No Bully Zone” bullying prevention assembly, we can help spread the message of “see something, say something” and teach students when they see something they know is wrong, to get involved. Learn more about this important school assembly here!