Saturday, July 07, 2012

Bullying: A Problem for Children and Adults

Responsive Classroom's blog has featured a number of posts on bullying recently. The newest one, and the one that I have now reread several times, is focused on whose job it is to stop bullying. It starts by discussing how we often ask children to stand up to the person bullying them. The author, Caltha Crowe, then goes on to explain the problem with this:
The problem with this line of thinking is that it's unfair and unrealistic to expect children who are being bullied to address the situation on their own. When all the children involved have equal social power, it makes sense to teach them how to resolve conflicts among themselves, but in situations where there's an imbalance of power, it does not. 
As a teacher I am often so focused on my students' academic growth that I do not pay enough attention to these sort of issues and concerns. It is something I need to be more aware of and careful about.

However, this bit also struck me as an adult. I know of a number of teachers who have felt bullied in recent months and this paragraph struck me. The imbalance of power is a significant issue and one that is difficult to overcome. Reading this did not give me any answers, but it did give me a new perspective on the issue.

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