Girls-Drama and Bullying

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Stars1, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Stars1

    Stars1 New Member

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    Mar 4, 2010

    Is it Friday, yet? Ok, I need some advice. Somehow, I managed to get the class from hell this year, and it just keeps getting worst. I'm seriously losing my mind. Here's one of the major problems: I have 12 girls in my class and half of them can't get along. They can be friends one minute, then they're complaining about each other the next. None of the girls are angels, but one of them seems to be a bully/ringleader (she's mean, and on occasion, she has pushed and hit several of the girls). I separated all the "drama" girls, but the bully in my classroom is sneaky and she's constantly in trouble. My question is- How do you handle bullying when you don't see it? I've talked to her mom, she's been sent to the office, I've talked to her, I've made her apologize and write notes to the girls that she's been mean to, but nothing is working. Recently, I had a parent (whose child is having problems with the bully) leave me a nasty voicemail stating that she feels like I'm not doing anything to handle the situation. I don't know what to do anymore, and to tell the truth, the bully isn't always the one causing the problems. When the bully is not at school, they still manage to complain about one another. They just can't get along, and they bring the drama everyday. I'm so tired! Any advice?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 4, 2010

    What grade level are you teaching? That may help us to come up with strategies.
     
  4. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Mar 4, 2010

    I have a class of 24 girls and have tried to deal with it. I teach 2nd grade, but have had some of the same problems. We're working on a few books to help us through situations. We are reading several manners books, and finished an American Girl Friends book (can't remember the exact name). We are getting ready to go through several lessons out of Bullying in the Girls World (grades 3-8). I've taken 5 lessons that I thought would be appropriate for my girls. Another book that I will be going through is Girls in Real Life Situations (Grades K-5, there is a 6-12 version too). They look like really good lessons. The lessons take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on what you have time for. I know my situation is different because I have all girls. We're doing the lessons during our Morning Meeting time. Is there a way you can do them during recess/physical activity time once a week? Or maybe you can split with another teacher and take their girls while they do a lesson with all the boys. I'm not sure, just rambling ideas as they come to me.
     
  5. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Mar 5, 2010

    I just went to PD last night on bullying- you should check out their website- eyesonbullying.org it is presented nationally and was really informative. There is a free booklet on there with activities and such- the booklet has some great ideas. Good luck.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    So you've made her apologize, but not punished her?? If she's guilty enough to apologize, then she's guilty. It sounds to me as though she's being handled with kid gloves, simply because she's good enough at bullying that she's hard to catch.

    Take away recess, have her eat by herself, have her stay after school--let her know that bullying will NOT be tolerated in your school! No child should ever be afraid to come to school because the bully is sneaky.
     
  7. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Mar 5, 2010

    I agree w/ Alice - make it not worth it to cause the drama. I do understand your frustration - so much of "girl" bullying slips under the radar.
     
  8. MarieClarie

    MarieClarie Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2010

    Question for you?

    I'm not sure what age group you have, so not sure if this will be entirely helpful, but do the girls understand the difference between social bulllying and physical bullying? First of all, social bullying is harder to see, but it sounds like it might be going on. Do you notice any name calling, yelling, rumors being spread around, or eye rolling? All these things can be just as damaging to a child as physical bullying.

    I would try to have an open dialogue with the girls about the different kinds of bullying and explain that you don't tolerate a climate where bullying can exist. Also, try to get them on board as well, to help recognize what is or isn't bullying and to discourage it as well.

    Marie
     
  9. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Mar 17, 2010

    I agree with Alice, up to a point. Part of the problem is that it's often difficult to observe the true cause-and-effect relationship at work. I had a kid who was constantly accused of bullying, and he did in fact hit several people. However, careful observation revealed that he was in fact the victim of pretty severe verbal abuse from certain other students, and not being very articulate, escalated things to the next level. There is no way to 'go back to the very beginning' and see who fired the first shot, but sometimes you can identify the causes of conflict between the 'bully' and other students. Sometimes they are expressing resentment because other students reject them around issues of poverty, cleanliness, apparent lack of intelligence, physical attributes, the way their parents dress them, etc. I don't say this justifies bullying behavior, but if you put all the onus on one party and not others, you may be adding to their sense of injustice and empowering children whose bullying is just more subtle. Creating situations in which children can and must work together and are closely supervised to nip problems in the bud does more to eliminate the roots of these problems than punishing or scolding.
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Mar 18, 2010

    How about some intense teaching about bullying, how to recognize it, how to make choices to deal with it, etc? Our school uses Second Step - I think it is through WISH. Sounds like the kids need some education about bullying. Then a clear zero tolerance plan school wide. It is critical in this world to nip the bullying, and to teach kids how to deal with it in a positive and healthy way.
     
  11. Tch4th

    Tch4th Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2010

    After identifying all guilty parties, I kept them all in at recess to figure out a solution themselves. I simply worked at my desk and made sure that they stayed civil. One year, it went so far as writing up a contract that they each had to abide by. Copies were signed and sent home and to the office. These were fourth graders, so possibly their problem solving skills were a little more advanced than your kids, but it always seemed to work eventually.
     
  12. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Mar 18, 2010

    There are just some mean girls and they'll probably always be mean. I have a lot of girl drama going on in my room this year. One of the mean girls says things that I know her mother told her to say. It's hard to compete with what mother says and what happens in my world.
     
  13. lou reed

    lou reed Companion

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    Mar 18, 2010

    Have you ever read "Queen Bees and Wannabees" by Rosalind Wiseman? It really sheds light on the dynamic between girls and the different personalities involved. The movie "Mean Girls" was based on it.
     

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