It’s important that your student knows they’re not alone. If you can’t protect them from bullying in the moment, be sure to offer your support whenever you can. A simple word can have a huge impact.
Be proactive in forming bonds with students who seem isolated. Some students may have a hard time finding support among their peers. Knowing they have an adult ally who cares about them can go a long way toward making them feel comfortable at school.
If you see a student looking down or isolated, make an effort to reach out to them and get to know them better. If you understand their personality and interests, you can help the student brainstorm new activities to join so they can feel joy.
Greet your students when they enter the classroom at the beginning of class. Helping your students feel welcome in your classroom can foster a sense of comfort and belonging.
If your student has been bullied, they may blame themselves for what happened. It’s important to emphasize that they are a valued member of your class, and that it is not their fault they are being bullied.
If your student is bullying others, it’s possible they are experiencing pain they are unsure how to express. Rather than responding to the behavior with anger or punishment, let them know you care and work with them to find constructive outlets for their emotions.
If your student is LGBTQ, it’s important to be vigilant. Many bullied youth are ashamed to discuss cases of abuse, and sometimes their parents aren’t receptive. It’s essential to help create a climate at school that allows students to feel safe.
When speaking to students who seem isolated or depressed, consider phrases like, “You are a valuable member of this class, and I really appreciate the insight you bring to our discussions,” or “I am always here if you need support.”