Education

Classroom Challenge 3 Scenario– Bullying in the Classroom

Consider that 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’ 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 three 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 two 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 scholarship for tuition 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’ 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. Your concern escalates because the occurrences are moving outside the classroom. Is cyberbullying next? 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 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 meet with the school counselor, so that she can provide you with some up-to-date research on 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 down to the counselor’s office, your mind goes back to Mr. Goss’ framework for the school. How can you model the fruit of the Spirit to prevent bullying from emerging in your classroom again?

Reference:

Wang, C., Berry, B., & Swearer, S. M. (2013). The Critical Role of School Climate in Effective Bullying Prevention. Theory Into Practice52(4), 296-302.

Page 1 of 1

Page

1

of

1

C

LASSROOM

C

HALLENGE

3

S

CENARIO

B

ULLYING IN THE

C

LASSROOM

Consider that you are the 8

th

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’ favorite daily activities is

his walkabout through the school to see

ideas generated, problems solved, and laughter shared.

He considers it his dut

y to model a positive school climate

. H

e 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 an

d saw all

walks of life. He witnessed and

fell victim to

defeat,

anger,

abuse, rejection

, and

bully

ing. H

e

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 s

chool shooting and wanted to mak

e 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 determin

ed to pay it forward and impact children

.

He vowed that

his

future

school would be like a family

, a healthy family

. T

here would be disagreements, but

they wo

uld be worked out with love, kindness, and gentleness.

“That’s it

,

he though

t, “the fruit

of the

S

pirit!

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 con

ference 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 c

hange.

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

share

d his

conceptual framework

with you

many times.

H

is

perception of a school modeled after

the fruit of the Spirit

fil

ls

your thoughts as you think back to how this year started for you.

Emily, Keisha, and Tasha are three 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 two young

er 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 scholarship for tuition had been

awarded to Tasha.

Did this information about the scholarship become public knowledge? If so,

did it have any bearing

on Em

ily and Keisha’s opinion of Tasha?

You

are

desperately tryi

ng to

find a reason

for

why this is

happening in your classroom.

At t

he conference you

attended, you heard,

“…a positive school climate may be a necessary, but

not sufficient, factor for effecti

ve bullying prevention and intervention” (

Wang, Berry, &

Swearer, 2013).

I know Mr. Goss’ 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

“…bullyi

ng 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

Page 1 of 1

CLASSROOM CHALLENGE 3 SCENARIO– BULLYING IN THE CLASSROOM

Consider that you are the 8

th

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’ 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 three 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 two 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 scholarship for tuition 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’ 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

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