The Role of Teachers in Bullying Prevention
Currently, teachers have certain roles that weren’t among their professional skills a few years ago. One of them is bullying prevention.
In the current school model, great importance is given to social education and the eradication of violent and antisocial behaviors. Thus, its goal is to make children develop based on a correct civic profile.
Why is bullying a social problem?
Bullying is a great educational and social problem, since bullying affects children’s psychosocial development, which can be decisive in their adult lives. Thus, a student who’s been the victim of bullying is prone to developing emotional and psychological disorders in adulthood.
On the other hand, a bully is likely to become a future abuser (with their partner, with their children, etc.) or a criminal.
Likewise, witnesses can become passive adults in the face of injustices, showing themselves indifferent to them. In fact, they can even become desensitized to other people’s suffering. For all these reasons, bullying prevention is important.
Teachers and bullying prevention
Thanks to preventive school measures, bullying can be reduced. Therefore, the role of teachers in bullying prevention is important.
In this sense, one of the key factors that must be addressed to achieve this goal is the quality of coexistence. Thus, it’s very important for teachers to carry out positive interpersonal management activities, which foster the building of good relationships among students.
In addition, teachers must carry out activities that improve the quality of the educational bond between teachers and students through participatory and cooperative procedures. Role-playing games, plays, and guided role-playing debates, among other activities, can prove helpful in this regard.
This way, schools foster:
- Empathy. Learning to put yourself in another person’s shoes, understanding the damage you can cause and its consequences.
- Raising awareness about the problem of bullying. Raising awareness of the seriousness of bullying so they repudiate and condemn such actions.
- Students’ awareness and respect for people’s diversity.
- Knowledge of alternatives to violence to resolve existing conflicts, such as negotiation and mediation.
On the other hand, teachers have to be in charge of identifying possible aggressors and victims through observation and keeping conduct records.
Socio-emotional competencies in the face of bullying prevention
In addition, for bullying prevention, it’s positive to instill a series of socio-emotional competencies in schools, which are defined as:
“A set of knowledge, capacities, abilities, and attitudes necessary to understand, express, and properly regulate emotional phenomena.”
– Bisquerra and Pérez –
These social and emotional skills can be grouped into five categories:
- Emotional conscience.
- Competencies for life and wellness.
- Emotional autonomy.
- Social competence.
- Emotional regulation.
All of them are essential to offer a complete education in the current educational system. Thus, according to Bisquerra and Pérez, the following develop:
- Self-awareness and self-management capabilities.
- Firstly, identifying and regulating your own emotions and behaviors.
- Also, recognizing personal qualities and external supports.
- Demonstrating skills related to achieving personal and academic goals.
- Positive relationships through social awareness and interpersonal skills.
- Recognizing other people’s feelings and perspectives and the similarities and differences between individuals and groups.
- Secondly, using communication skills and social skills.
- Finally, demonstrating the ability to constructively prevent, manage, and resolve interpersonal conflicts.
- The ability to make decisions and be responsible.
- Firstly, considering ethical, security, and social factors in the decision-making process.
- Likewise, applying decision-making skills to responsibly address everyday academic and social situations.
- Finally, contribute to the school and the community’s well-being.