By Teachers, For Teachers
The New Year means a fresh start, and what’s a better way to start the year off than to make a pledge of anti-bullying? Every year, more than 3 million children are bullied. It’s a universal concern that’s been addressed in the news, on social media, as well as in the classroom. However, as much as we talk about eliminating it in our schools, it still seems to be happening. With the holiday season coming to a close, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to take an anti-bullying stand in your classroom. Shine the spotlight on bullying by celebrating kindness and raising awareness to create a bully-free environment in your school. Your students can play an active role in promoting anti-bullying awareness by participating in different activities, as well as spreading the word that no longer will anyone be bullied. Here are a few ideas that you can do in your classroom.
No Name-Calling week will take place the week of Jan. 15-19, 2018. Founded in 2004 with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, this campaign was inspired by the novel “The Misfits” by James Howe. The book tells the story of a few good friends trying to survive the 7th grade in the midst of getting picked on. The campaign’s focus is to address name-calling and bullying in schools, and provide students and educators with some inspiration to help them eliminate bullying in their community. Show you care by organizing a week full of anti-bullying activities in your classroom so we can end bullying once and for all. This year’s campaign in called #kindnessinaction. You can register and get more information at Glsen.org.
Students can lace up their running shoes and create a school-wide anti-bullying race to raise awareness for the cause. Students can plan to walk/run a 1- to 3-mile race around the school grounds. Students can also show their support by making and wearing anti-bullying t-shirts both for the race and to wear to support the runners. It’s a fun and energetic way to take a stand against bullying. Show your support by having students take a stand at the starting line.
Stomp out bullying by having students design and wear a pair of shoes. The shoe that students design can represent bullying. For example, the word “Stand” can be written on the shoe in huge letters, followed by the statement “Bystanders can stop bullying.” To show off these amazing designed anti-bullying shoes, students can have a fashion show to show off their designs and help and help raise awareness to “Stomp out” bullying.
Encourage your students to make new friends. They can start by sitting with new friends each day for a week during lunchtime. Urge them to sit at a different lunch table with friends outside of their normal circle. Even though it is only for one week, doing this can still help break down barriers and encourage students to make new friends. For those who are reluctant, offer an incentive. For instance, those that participate in this activity can receive a “Get out of homework pass,” or a “Free snack” in the cafeteria. You can also give students that participate an anti-bullying bracelet to wear to show off their support. This may also encourage others to participate as well.
Stand up to bullying by having students wear the color blue. Banding together and wearing the same color is a simple gesture that can make quite an impact. Pick a day of the week and have all students as well as staff wear the color blue in support of standing up to bullying.
Have students show a united front by coming up with their own anti-bullying pledge. Encourage the whole school to participate in writing an anti-bullying pledge that students can recite each day after their morning announcements.
Another amazing way to show a united front is to have a school-wide anti-bullying assembly. Invite a speaker into your school or have your own student-led assembly. You can go online and download the student-led assembly kit that incorporates the “Not in Our School” core principles with students taking the lead in addressing bullying and intolerance in school. You can also invite a speaker like the “Stronger than a Bully” program that is fun for all ages.
Make this New Year the year that we finally put an end to bullying in our schools. The more we talk about it, the quicker it will eliminate it.
How will you stand up to bullying this year in your classroom? Please feel free to share the anti-bullying ways you’ll stomp it out in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.