Identifying Bullies and the Bullied
Because children often do not report bullying behavior, it is important as a teacher to identify bullies and those being bullied. Bullying sometimes happens in the classroom, but it also happens in the playground, school hallways and on the way to and from school. Because teachers don't always witness bullying, it can be difficult to detect when there is a problem. Teachers need to observe student behavior for warning signs of a problem.
Children of all races and from all socio-economic backgrounds bully. Both boys and girls can be bullies or victims of bullying. Bullies are more commonly boys and they tend to harass both boys and girls. Girls on the other hand, tend to only harass other girls. No child is immune from bullying. However, children who look different, act different or who have physical or mental disabilities are more often the target of bullies.
Identifying Victims of Bullying
Signs that a student may be a victim of bullying include depression, withdrawing from social activities, social exclusion, frequent complaints of not feeling well, frequent crying, moody behavior, truancy, frequently claiming possessions were lost, their possessions are often getting broken, bringing weapons to school for protection, complaining about getting picked on and talking about running away from school or home.
It can be hard to identify bullies when the harassing behavior is not done inside the classroom. There are certain traits bullies tend to exhibit that teachers can keep an eye out for in students. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration identifies the following traits as commonly exhibited by bullies: impulsiveness, becoming frustrated easily, trouble following rules and a lack of empathy.