So What’s the Deal with Bullying?

As I finished my lessons today, I thought about how much more knowledgeable the students at Everett are about bullying and how to handle bullying when it happens. Then I realized this information might not be shared with our families. I thought it might be a good idea to share what we’re discussing.

The first bullying lessons all covered the difference between bullying and a problem or conflict. We discussed bullying as something unkind that happens over and over again and on purpose. It is one-sided and you haven’t been able to get it to stop. We talked about how if someone accidentally steps on your toe when you are lining up, it isn’t bullying. We also talked about how if something happens just once, it probably isn’t bullying. It can still be a problem, but it isn’t bullying. Fourth and fifth graders also spent time the first lesson practicing reporting and refusing bullying as well.

The second bullying lessons were different for kindergarten through third grade, and fourth and fifth grades. The younger students focused on reporting bullying. We talked about how reporting bullying is different than tattling, and identified who caring adults are in our building to whom you can report bullying. We also practiced saying, “I need to report bullying,” in an assertive voice (head up, looking at the person you are talking to, and using a strong, respectful voice).

The fourth and fifth graders focused on the role of bystanders in their second lesson. We discussed the conflicting feelings bystanders to bullying may experience, and how it is important to report bullying to an adult even if you aren’t the one being bullied. The also were able to make a visual about the role of a supportive bystanders (posters for fourth graders and comic strips for fifth graders).

The third bullying lesson for kindergarten through third grade will focus on refusing bullying. We will talk about how to refuse bullying, and get to practice. The older students will continue our focus on bystanders and the steps they can take as a bystander to be helpful.

The final bullying lesson for kindergarten through third grade discusses the role of a supportive bystander. Fourth and fifth grade will focus on cyberbullying for this final lesson.

I asked teachers to send home the family links before the bullying lessons began, and the home link for the first bullying lesson. The family link included an activation code for the Second Step Bullying website, and the home links cover what we talked about during our lesson. Please use these resources to help further your student’s learning. As always, let me know if you need another copy of anything!

A Quarter Down!

The teachers here at Everett keep looking at each other with shock and saying, “The first quarter is over?!” It seems amazing that we have already completed the first quarter. Mr. Long was joking that he probably should take down the “Welcome Back” sign that he has up!

These last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy. Ms. Imel and I were able to attend a lengthy training about family involvement, and Mrs. Johnson, Ms. Charity, and I were all able to go to Chicago for three days to learn more about PBIS (our district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program). I also had to be gone for a couple of days for family emergencies, so I feel like I wasn’t at school near as much as I’d like to be!

The good news is, all classrooms except for one have now had the first lesson of the bullying curriculum. Look for the first Home Link to be coming home. You do not need to return the Home Link, but rather can use it as a discussion tool with your student. Also, remember all parents and guardians have access to the Second Step website. Please let me know if you need another copy of the code for access.

I’ve also been able to meet with a lot of students to problem solve. I enjoy many parts of my job, but that part is probably my favorite!

Coming up for second quarter, I will be in all classrooms teaching the remaining three bullying lessons. I will also continue to be available for individual students. In addition, I will start meeting with groups of students who are of the same age and struggling with similar issues. These will likely happen once or twice a week during their recess time.

On a final note, I LOVE data, and have collected data for my first round of lessons. Each grade level (except for kindergarten) was given a post-test about being able to differentiate bullying from a conflict or problem. First, second, and third grades were given two scenarios for which they had to either circle “Bullying” or “Not Bullying”. Fourth and fifth graders were given four scenarios with the same directions. The graphs are below.


This is the graph I’m most proud of. It shows that 83% of Everett students answered ALL the questions right in terms of identifying bullying versus a conflict or problem!