When the bullying roles are reversed…

We are all aware that bullying and cyberbullying are very real among the pressured youth and learners in your classrooms. Have you ever thought about the roles being reversed and that countless teachers are being bullied by their learners, making them rethink their career choice every, single day. There are tons of support groups and online sources to help children who are being bullied, but what about the teachers who are being victimised?

”Overlooked crisis” is the term used in 2013 by the National Education Association (NEA) to describe learner -to-teacher bullying. The interest group that represents America’s public school teachers was referring to a report by the American Psychological Association (APA) that found 80% of teachers had been victims of bullying learners. The 2013 Indicators of School Crime and Safety Report revealed that during 2009 to 2010, 23% of public schools acknowledged that learners regularly engage in bullying their teachers, including 9% that admitted teachers were verbally abused and disrespected. How shocking is this?

It is now 2019, and there is no indication that this bullying is facing a downward curve. If you are a teacher and you are a victim of bullying but don’t know where to turn to, here are a few methods you can try.
Re-evaluate how you manage your classroom. How you handle your class could be the reason why learners feel they have the right to abuse you and run to their parents whining. Your classroom methods will be the first thing that administrators will look into if you file a report. Always stay diplomatic and ensure that you treat all learners the same.

Here are some proactive measures you can put in place:

* Explain acceptable and non-acceptable classroom behaviour.
* Choose which mountain to die on – battles should be won wisely.
* Don’t have any favourites and never make it obvious.
* Don’t confront deviant learners in class or in front of their peers.
* Be open to feedback and don’t be defensive.

Even when school isn’t in session, you are a major target for that little thing called cyberbullying. The things learners are brave enough to say behind a screen on social media are absolutely frightening. There are ways however you can get ahead of this and make sure you are not victimised.

* Do a simple Internet search for your name regularly. Report offensive comments or videos about you to the world and where you can!
* Keep your personal life personal.
* Use passwords to protect your personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. Hackers are a real thing and they start young.
* Never post any pictures or content online that make you appear unprofessional.

Whichever course of action you follow to keep yourself from being victimised, make sure you do it immediately! Reach out to your principal, school psychologist, even a union representative. Don’t let a bullying deed go unpunished!

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