Unit 4: Reflection Assignment
After going through all the resources in unit 4, I do believe that the one that I can best apply to my context as far as addressing bullying issue is concerned is the Shared Concern Method. Before knowing that method I would blindfold go for the Punish- The Bully- Method, which just means putting the blame on the bullies. But after being introduced to the Shared Concern Method, a question came to my mind: “What is my objective in front of a bullying case? Is it to put a stop to the bullying or is it to punish the bully?” It clearly appeared to me then that punishing the bully or bullies would most of the time worsen the situation. In fact, they would find more sophisticated ways of victimizing and no matter how attentive the teacher may be, he may not detect the bullying. Therefore, involving both perpetrators and victims as part of the solution and not the problem reveals more appealing to me. Since my objective is to eradicate Bullying from the school environment but not to punish the bullies,” The Peer Support Approach”, which is to a large extent similar to The Shared Concern Approach can be implemented in our schools. Though very time consuming and requiring a lot leadership from teachers and educators, I believe that The Shared Concern Approach will fit more in our schools than the traditional methods we used to apply in the past. Teachers need to be trained to the different stages of the Shared Concern Approach and act more as problem solvers than punishers. I remember once a 10th grade girl in my school that was at daggers drawn with all the girls of her class. She was always sitting in the front and did not talk to any of the girls. Anytime that she faltered while reading, her classmates laughed and made fun of her. She came to complain to the Headmistress. She was obviously being bullied because she was the smallest girl in the class and she was a newcomer in the school. The strategy the headmistress used to settle the conflict was largely similar to the Shared Concern and the Peer Support approaches. She called all the “bullies” in her office and asked them what the problem was. After attempting to explain their attitude, the headmistress asked them if atmosphere of the classroom was favorable for learning and they all replied no. She asked the girls to write individual letters to the “bullied” girl. The letters were all very moving and the bullying stopped. She applied a “No Blame” approach and it worked very well. I believe teachers can follow suit.