Classroom Scenario: Bullying in the Classroom Setting
You are the 8th-grade teacher at a private, K–12, Christian school called Flower Stone Academy. You have been at the school for 17 years, and you thoroughly enjoy working under the direction of your headmaster, Mr. Goss. One of Mr. Goss’s favorite daily activities is his walkabout through the school to see ideas generated, problems solved, and laughter shared. He considers it his duty to model a positive school climate. He wants to see his students and teachers learning and fellowshipping together much like a family living life together.
Mr. Goss is no stranger to “living life.” He grew up in a poorly funded orphanage and saw all walks of life. He witnessed and fell victim to defeat, anger, abuse, rejection, and bullying. He spent as much time trying to fit in as he did trying to escape. His life was turned around, though, with his adoption at the age of 15 by a middle-aged Floridian couple. They had lost their only child to a school shooting and wanted to make an impact on another child.
Because of his new mother and father, Mr. Goss was able to go to college and earn his degrees in the field of education. He was determined to pay it forward and impact children. He vowed that his future school would be like a family, a healthy family. There would be disagreements, but they would be worked out with love, kindness, and gentleness. “That’s it,” he thought, “the fruit of the Spirit! One day I’ll have a school modeled after the fruit of the Spirit.”
You are really excited to talk to Mr. Goss this late October day because you have just returned from a conference and wanted to share some ideas with him. The conference was about the state-approved bullying program, and Mr. Goss had asked you to attend because of a bullying situation evolving in your classroom. With bullying becoming more commonplace in today’s classrooms, he wants you to act as an advocate for change. You are proud to wear the label
of “advocate” for this school you love. You think, “I can be the change agent!” Mr. Goss has shared his conceptual framework with you many times. His perception of a school modeled after the fruit of the Spirit fills your thoughts as you think back to how this year started for you.
Emily, Keisha, and Tasha are 3 girls in your class who, at times, seem to get along just fine, but once Emily or Keisha tires of Tasha, they become cruel. Tasha’s family is new to the school, so you really do not know a lot about them. When you met Tasha and her mother at the Back-to-School Picnic, her mother seemed tired. She, Tasha, and 2 younger siblings had relocated to your area during the summer. You are aware that their move had been stressful and that they started the year in temporary housing. You also know that a tuition scholarship had been awarded to Tasha. Did this information about the scholarship become public knowledge? If so, did it have any bearing on Emily and Keisha’s opinion of Tasha? You are desperately trying to find a reason for why this is happening in your classroom.
At the conference you attended, you heard, “…a positive school climate may be a necessary, but not sufficient, factor for effective bullying prevention and intervention” (Wang, Berry, & Swearer, 2013). I know Mr. Goss’s model for the school intends to promote a positive school climate. You also learned that there are different elements of a school climate, though, and that “…bullying prevention and intervention programs [should be] tested to better understand which elements are robust and affect positive, lasting change” (Wang, Berry, & Swearer, 2013). Can a conceptual framework lead to a positive school climate, or is there more we can do to ensure a positive school climate?
Emily and Keisha seem to find enjoyment in taunting Tasha. Today at lunch, Emily would not let Tasha sit at the lunch table. By refusing to let her sit with the group, Emily is publicly rejecting Tasha, and this empowers Emily because it allows her to control the social environment for the moment. Though Emily tends to be the leader, Keisha joins in and brings the lunchroom incident back to the classroom. During a group activity, Keisha scribbles out a hurtful poem about Tasha’s outfit for her group to enjoy. “Doesn’t she know we can see the stains under her arms from way over here?” she laughs.
Tasha tells you that yesterday, she, Emily, and Keisha played a great game of basketball together against a really strong team. In fact, everyone was saying that it was because of Tasha, Emily, and Keisha that their team won. When it was time to leave, Tasha was late getting on the bus because she had forgotten her water bottle in the gym. When she was walking down the aisle to her seat, Emily stuck out her foot and tripped her. In addition to falling flat on her face, her water bottle rolled down the dirty floor, and her phone flew out of her hand and cracked.
As you listen to Tasha recount the events, you feel uneasy about the frequency of these incidents. You are fearful that bullying in its truest form is unfolding right in front of you. In your 17 years of teaching, you have not encountered bullying among your students to this degree. From your observations, Emily and Keisha are taking advantage of someone whom they have decided is not worthy of true membership in their group.
Tasha’s grades are falling, and her participation in class discussions is waning. You decide to call Tasha’s mother. “It just takes time to get used to a new school,” Mrs. Jones suggests when you tell her about Tasha’s schoolwork. No, you think it is much more serious than that. You think you have a genuine problem with bullying in your classroom, and you must figure out what to do about it.
Are you managing your classroom in such a way that your classroom environment is supportive? Mr. Goss always tells his teachers that he wants the school to model a healthy family. Are you doing all you can to discourage bullying? Are you appropriately rewarding and punishing behaviors? Are you effectively communicating the consequences of behaviors? These are just a few of the questions that you tackled at the conference. You do not have all the answers, but you are determined to be an ambassador for change.
Mr. Goss suggests that you read up on some current research regarding bullying. You agree; you know from the conference there are several types of bullying, and you want to make sure your classroom environment opposes them with appropriate strategies. As you make your way back to your classroom, your mind goes back to Mr. Goss’s framework for the school. How can you model the fruit of the Spirit to prevent bullying from emerging in your classroom again?
Wang, C., Berry, B., & Swearer, S. M. (2013). The Critical Role of School Climate in Effective Bullying Prevention. Theory into Practice, 52(4), 296-302.
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Classroom Scenario: Bullying in the Classroom Assignment Instructions
Bullying is becoming more and more commonplace in the classroom, even in schools once deemed “safe.” Teaching students how to share space with others at school can positively impact behavior both in and outside the classroom.
In this module/week’s classroom challenge you will read about some ways bullying might look at your school one day. The provided scenario presents several types of bullying, and you must identify three of these types. Read and study the scenario provided as you consider ways to keep bullying out of your classroom. The 3 types of bullying you discuss must come from the scenario.
Specificity is important with this assignment; as you write your paper, you must continually ask yourself “why” and “how.” In your paper, you must discuss 3 types of bullying found in the provided scenario and ways that you can keep bullying out of your classroom. To earn full credit, your paper must employ specific and quality discourse.
The Biblical integration for the second classroom scenario is to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23 in your solutions: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The grading rubric for this assignment is provided in the Course Content folder and should be considered the best source regarding what is required to successfully complete this assignment.
Include the following 4 sections of discussion in your paper:
1. Examples: Use examples from the scenario provided to show how this type of bullying is revealing itself in your classroom.
2. What does the research say? Use peer-reviewed research articles to explain why you identified this behavior as bullying. Cite this research in your discussion and include the source(s) in the reference list at the end of your paper.
3. Solutions: What actions will you apply in your classroom to demonstrate how you will prevent this type of bullying from occurring in the future?
B. From the scenario provided identify the second type of bullying you see exemplified and consider what is taking place that causes you to recognize it as bullying.
C. From the scenario provided identify the third type of bullying you see exemplified and consider what is taking place that causes you to recognize it as bullying.
Repeat discussion points 1 through 4 as laid out above in section A.
D. Biblical Integration – Fruit of the Spirit
The following are the requirements for your paper:
A. Your paper must meet a minimum of 1,200 words (not including the title page and reference page) and be formatted in current APA style.
B. You must use at least 4 sources in your paper:
1. 1 source must be the Bible. (Reference which translation you use, i.e. KJV, NKJV, NIV, etc.)
a. Cite the Bible version in the body of the paper. An example of this would be: (King James Bible, 1769/2017, John 3:16).
b. Include the source in your reference list. An example of this would be: King James Bible. (2017). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1769).
2. 1 source must be the course textbook.
3. 2 sources must be peer-reviewed research articles.
b. Research articles:
1) Must be peer-reviewed;
2) Must be published within the last 7 years; and
C. You must include at least 5 citations within your paper for the work you borrow from all your sources.
Submit your paper as a Microsoft Word document in the assignment link by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 5.
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