First off, I just want to clearly say that I don't go to "Teacher's College." I'm in the Faculty of Education. My professors have stressed to us that Teacher's College is not correct because we are in a professional graduate program and that Teacher's College is a specific place in some other country... or something like that. Most of us still because when we say Faculty of Ed, people go "huh?" so we use an outdated and improper term to convey the right meaning.
Second, today's thought: Things I've learned in the Faculty of Ed take 2.
Today's topic? Bullying. Surprised? Well, you shouldn't be because it's in the title. Already rolling your eyes are moving your mouse toward the kill corner? Bullying's been done before, eh? Yes, and yet it still affects so many people. As long as there is evil in the world, bullying, unfortunately, will not end.
My thought originates from a chat I had with some of my girlfriends. As we were talking over dinner a few nights ago, the topic of bullying came up and we found that almost all of us had some pretty scarring bullying stories from elementary school. We each could recount a moment or two when we were made to feel unwanted, stupid, or the odd one out. From other talks about bullying that I'd had with others over the years, I've met many others who have similar stories, but for some reason, it hit me a little harder that night. I couldn't help but think, We're going to be teachers. We who have felt the pain of bullying are going back into environments where multiple forms of bullying exist and hide like bacteria floating through the air: hidden in plain sight. How could we not move to address the issue? And at the same time, what can we do?
Bullying is old. Bullying doesn't stop. What can we possibly do to help the kids who are hurting like we hurt?
In seminars and lectures, they talk about different intervention techniques and ideas, but I wonder: how successful are they? Years down the road, will some students be hurting in silence while the teachers think in ignorance that their anti-bullying strategies have worked? It could be that in some cases, the bullies don't know they are bullying: bullying through neglect. A friendless child is hurting just as much as the children who are picked on and made fun of. How, as teachers, do we keep students from falling through the cracks?
This probably seems like a depressing post, and it is. I wish I could say I knew all the answers, but I recognize that I can only do my best in all situations. It pains me to think that I will probably miss something critical at least once in my career, but I suppose that's why as teachers we're placed in a team. Something I miss can hopefully be caught by a colleague or vice versa.
Some food for thought.