Bullying in schools can take many forms such as harassment, physical harm, and emotional trauma caused by one (or a group of individuals) to another. Cyberbullying is also on the rise with students now spending significant amounts of time on the Internet.
With bullying being such a big problem in schools, a big onus lies on teachers to take steps to prevent it. But to prevent specific problems, specific tools are required. In order for teachers to create safer classrooms, they need professional development training that can help them tackle bullying in their schools.
Professional development for teachers to prevent bullying must address some specific issues and teach tools to empower them in this endeavor.
Training and Activities
Professional development for educators that can help prevent bullying must include the following –
• Activities to develop or enhance leadership skills.
• Courses to use creativity in classrooms to help students trust and respect each other.
• Tools to teach the students about teamwork.
• Methods to help students see the world in a better way and finding their place in it.
• Ideas to enhance the ability of students to express themselves better and to listen to their peers with due respect.
Ways Professional Development Courses can Help Teachers to Prevent Bullying
Professional development for teachers can be very helpful in preventing bullying.
• Educators can learn new tools to not only enhance their leadership qualities but also teach the same to their students. Leadership requires confidence. When students are more confident, it leads to individuals who are secure about their place in the world. With such assuredness, bullying episodes in schools can reduce to a great extent. Bullying, which is essentially about directing insecurity and anger issues towards someone else, require careful attention from authority figures. Teachers can use their receptive powers and relationship with students to understand their behavioral problems and the cause behind them.
• Professional development for educators often includes participants from different parts of the world. People from different cultures, values, and experiences come together to learn new tools and strategies to become better teachers. The collaborative environment of these workshops is a fertile ground for exchanging ideas and to learn about handling different issues pertaining to students from all walks of life. Teachers can use this experience to help make their classrooms a more inclusive place for students. Differences often lead to conflicts. Teachers with development workshop training can help students to understand and accept the differences about others.
• Teachers with professional development training are better equipped to handle conflicts in classrooms. They can use creative exercises such as storytelling to help students express themselves in a safe environment. With such activities, students can learn to direct their frustrations in creative pursuits and express themselves in a healthy manner rather than resort to bullying others. Children with behavioral problems often respond to non-traditional methods of classroom teaching positively.
• Teachers with professional development training know about creating classroom atmosphere that inclusive and healthy for all. They can utilize the various tools they learn in the development workshops to build stronger bonds with their students. When students can open up to authority figures without fear of reprimand, a lot of behavioral issues can resolve on their own. Students who are likely to resort to disruptive behavior and bullying can find support in their teachers and learn to let go of anger in a healthy way.
• Professional development courses help teachers create more engaging lesson plans. Teachers learn to make the curriculum fun and interesting through creative projects, discussions, and thought-provoking activities. When the classroom is a fun place to be; the students are often calm and supportive of others. They find ways to collaborate on projects and engage in constructive debates. When their attention is focused on learning and teamwork; there are fewer chances of disruptions and bad behavior. When students learn to respect each other and it automatically reduces instances of bullying.
Professional development training can help educators see the bullying problem with a new perspective. When perceptions change, new insights to resolve issues can emerge.
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