The Achievement Gap and Middle School Math

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 12 2012

On bullying

There have been a few situations in the last few weeks when some of my students have been bullying another student….one student for being “from Africa” and one student for being “so gay.” The counselor, the other teachers, and I have hopefully dealt with these situations in a way that will stop these particular students from being bullied….but we’ll see if that actually works.

However, when thinking about bullying, it occurs to me that I could probably currently be classified as a victim of bullying. On a daily basis, students shout mean things at me. I go out of my way to buy supplies, which are then stolen with malicious intent.  I keep little stacks of paper to use as exit tickets–these are sometime purposely knocked all over the floor. Sometimes, when I turn around, students throw pencils or balls of paper at the back of my head. Students mock me and when I am upset about something, students laugh at me. When people spend time planning ways of tormenting someone else, this is bulling.

I am luckier than those of my students who might be bullying victims in that I do have some ways of defending myself from this bullying and that I am starting out with a better-developed sense of self-confidence, but it is still frustrating to realize that a decade after I myself finished 7th grade, I am being bullied by 7th graders.

One Response

  1. I think when students are mean to teachers it’s often got a different root cause than when people bully peers. It can be a way of retaking power they feel an authority figure has taken (or is trying to take) from them, if that makes sense. Small-scale (or not-so-small-scale) rebellion, basically.

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