Tomorrow Is Too Long to Wait for Inclusion

Anti-Bullying from the Educator’s Perspective

No Bullying

Often times anti-bullying efforts focus on students but educators and parents can also play a role in stopping bullying or better yet, preventing bullying. To find out exactly how educators and parents may do this, Think Inclusive recently chatted with anti-bullying speaker Tony Bartoli. Between his personal experience and a decade on the speaking circuit, Bartoli contains many strategies to confront the issue.

Today, Think Inclusive presents anti-bullying strategies for educators to implement. Come back Monday to read Bartoli’s suggested strategies parents could utilize.

Physical Bullying

Emotionalism can help a teacher differentiate between horseplay and bullying.

Recognizing Bullying

A major hurdle to stopping or preventing bullying remains recognizing bullying behavior. Certain instances could get mistaken as horseplay. Asked what signs indicate a bullying situation, Tony Bartoli first discussed defining bullying. “What is bullying? I do a talk about the verbal, the emotional, the cyberbullying especially, and the physical.”

He noted though, “Most definitions agree that bullying is repetitive in the way it is done.” Besides the repetitive nature Bartoli said “I think if they see the raising of the tone in voice or the emotionalism that is involved.” Also he mentioned size. “Look for students that are bigger, say it’s a group of bigger students ganging up on a smaller student.”

Moving to bullying in general, classroom demeanor possibly reveals victims. “In the classroom teachers can be able to tell by slipping grades or isolation. A student, maybe they like to sit close up front in the class, now they want to sit closer to the back or the corner or a student who doesn’t want to get involved in the class.”

Taking Action

Anti-bullying requires action. However, sometimes a teacher might feel helpless. Stated Bartoli “I think it is important for teachers to work to move away from ‘our hands are tied’ concern.” Standardized testing could feed into a teacher’s helpless sentiments.

“This is where you get our whole ‘hands are tied’ kind of thing, because they have to teach ‘x’ amount of material too. They’re concerned about the state exams. Their (students) got to pass the written exams.” Squeezing the anti-bullying topic into the curriculum might prove worthwhile still, because unaddressed, bullying can lead to suicide.

Incorporating anti-bullying messages into the classroom doesn’t require extravagant measures. Bartoli recommends, “Create a classroom atmosphere on preventing bullying.” He expanded on how to do so. “I think to have teachers to have something in the classroom upfront about bullying that students see. Make something visual or at least mention it from time to time.”

Promoting Anti-Bullying

Over the years educators demonstrate to Bartoli the ways they promote a bully-free environment. “Teachers show me what they’ve been doing in their classrooms. Whether it’s defining bullying and having it across the front of the classroom or they have a couple of posters out there that they made or that students made about bullying, what it is, and how it affects students.”

Another way teachers can promote anti-bullying revolves around a trend Bartoli noticed the past few years, students showing eagerness to stop/prevent bullying. He advises educators encourage such attitudes. “Teachers foster that creativity in students and encourage students that ‘I’d like to see you start something, some kind of leadership or bullying awareness club.’”

Emailing Tony Bartoli (tonyb4hope@yahoo.com) to inquire about his speaking services stands one way interested students can begin taking a stand. Bartoli possesses a real life story which engages. Bullies found Bartoli an easy target growing up because Bartoli walks differently due to cerebral palsy. His story provides students currently bullied the ability to relate and draws sympathy out from the bullies.

Learn more about Tony Bartoli by visiting www.tonyb4hope.com. Check back Monday for Bartoli’s suggested anti-bullying strategies parents can utilize.

*Photo above courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Pluscassandra

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Zachary Fenell

Staff Writer for Think Inclusive/Freelancing at zacharyfenell.com
Personal experience with his own disability cerebral palsy (CP) drives freelance scribe and author Zachary Fenell to utilize writing and social media for promoting disability awareness. Zachary’s memoir Off Balanced (available on the Kindle and Nook explores how his CP affected him socially throughout adolescence. To learn more about Zachary, visit www.zacharyfenell.com.

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