Essential question(s): What is cyberbullying, and how should it be approached by our schools?
Josie focused her post on the effects of bullying and what can be done after the fact. I believe that we will always have to look at what we can do after the fact, as we probably won't be able to completely get rid of bullying. Emily Willard advocates for prevention methods, but I believe this will only get us so far. Having strategies to help ameliorate some of the effects of bullying can certainly be helpful for those going through it. I don't ever remember being bullied as a kid but I do remember friends getting bullied. I was too shy at the time to stick up for them. I wish I could've said something, but I was generally afraid of just talking with people I didn't know, let alone trying to confront them. I guess the next best thing is just to stick by them. Letting them know that you still support them and that they aren't alone. Josie pointed out that others such as parents, teachers, and other adults can provide support to help the victim feel less alone. However after the reading this week I would caution adults jumping into the situation. In Nancy Willard's interview, she points out that “The Youth Voice Project, in its survey of students. It found that only 42% of students even report moderate to very severe bullying to school officials. But in only 34% of those reported situations did they say that, after their report, things got better. In 29% of the cases, things got worse after their report and the other times, things stayed the same.” I feel the same as Nancy Willard's research shows in that it usually makes the problem worse, and this is probably amplified at the older grades.
Erika brought up the point that students need to be taught online safety skills so that they can help prevent themselves from a lot of the danger that lurks in the online world. This also made me think about how so many students are not being taught good moral skills at home. Many students come to skill without proper skills on how to interact with others as they are spending so much time in the virtual world and so are their parents. Not to say that there aren't good parents out there but it seems as if more and more students are not coming into the classroom with good people skills, as I would call it. Students are not being taught the value of kindness to themselves and others. Now I don't believe this will completely eliminate bullying but I do think it would help prevent some of it.
This weeks topic really made me think about a 4th grade teacher in Florida that I follow in Facebook. She has a page titled Head Over Heels for Teaching. I have probably only been following her for about a year, but this year especially I have noticed all of her posts about acts of kindness her and her class participate in. She also shows different ways that she recognizes good behavior. Her motto is "in a world where you can be anything, be KIND." I absolutely love this motto and wish I could take credit for it. I have really wanted to implement some of her ideas but have fallen short on time. There is too much going on this year, but I have not forgotten about it and have filed some of her ideas into my brain to use at a later date. One of her recent ideas is to create a group award where one group is recognized for their positive interactions as a group. The group who won the previous day gets the task of awarding this and giving an explanation for their choice. She has other awards like this and has even posted videos of the students explanations. Her students really take pride in this award and give amazing explanations. Even though she does not talk about bullying or cyberbullying, I believe she has ideas that create a classroom environment that prevents bullying. I think this is what Nancy Willard is talking about, creating an environment where bullying just doesn’t happen because it does not get positive recognition from peers.