October 2018 Newsletter – Bullying: Director’s Corner Bullying Prevention Reflection

Here are a few questions the program leaders can ask themselves about the anti-bullying environment they are trying to establish.

Is everyone in your community clear on the definition of bullying?  Conflicts occur between children on a regular basis.  Not every conflict is an instance of bullying.  Remember, children who display bullying behaviors are manipulating the power imbalance that exists between themselves and the other child(ren). Encourage employees to take training on bullying to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Is everyone clear on how to respond to instances of bullying when they occur?  It is good practice to implement conflict resolution activities in the classroom so that children are able to work out their conflicts.  However, bullying is not simply a disagreement and it requires a different response.  Experts recommend that teachers work with a child who bullies separately from the child who is bullied.  This will prevent re-traumatizing the child who was bullied by forcing them to confront the other child when they are not yet ready to do so.

Do all children, families, and employees feel safe in the environment?  Consider the steps that you have taken to communicate that your environment is a safe place.  You might consider adding a question about safety to your customer satisfaction survey or employee performance reviews.  Ensure that teachers are routinely sending messages of safety to children and families.

Do teachers model appropriate behaviors that are consistent with bullying prevention strategies? Take time to reflect on how employees interact with one another and with children. Be sure to address any instances of bullying that occur between staff. Coach employees to utilize their compassion and empathy skills when interacting with children and families.

Would the program benefit from a more formal bullying prevention curriculum? If so, check out the resources provided throughout this newsletter to identify a curriculum that matches the philosophy of your program.

For the Main Article on Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Bullying Warning Signs, CLICK HERE.

For Creating a Learning Environment that Addresses Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Book Lists and Classroom Resources, CLICK HERE.

October 2018 Newsletter – Bullying

According to the CDC, bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.

Most people understand that bullying consists of repeated, aggressive behaviors.  But what exactly does the CDC mean when they say observed of perceived power imbalance?  A child who bullies could use any of the following to gain the upper hand during an interaction with another child:

  • Size or strength
  • Social standing
  • Socioeconomic standing
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Skills and abilities
  • Group size
  • Access to weapons

When developing strategies to address bullying, adults must consider the notion that children are exploring the power that they can wield over other children.

In addition to direct bullying, where a child is confronted face-to-face, indirect bullying also exists.  Examples of indirect bullying include spreading rumors about a child or promoting social isolation.

As children gain more access to technology and media, social media becomes another forum in which bullying can occur.

To learn more about bullying and resources you can access, review the information contained in the links below.

For Bullying Warning Signs, CLICK HERE.

For Creating a Learning Environment that Addresses Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Book Lists and Classroom Resources, CLICK HERE.

For Director’s Corner Bullying Prevention Reflection, CLICK HERE.

Empowering Children

Stop Bullying

The distinguishing factor that separates typical conflict in the classroom from bullying is the exploitation of an imbalance of power that exists between the children.  A child who exhibits bullying behaviors takes advantage of that power imbalance in order to harm or intimidate another child.  One of the recommended practices in many bullying prevention programs focuses on empowering children.  If each child feels a sense of power and control, it is possible that there will be fewer instances of bullying.  This sense of power benefit children who bully, children who are bullied, and bystanders who we want to encourage to stand up for children who are being bullied whenever it is safe to do so.

As a bullying prevention measure, here are a number of ways to create an environment that empowers children:

  • Offer choices
  • Make connections between actions, choices, and consequences
  • Create leadership roles that rotate each day or week
  • Allow children to determine how they want to explore materials, and for how long
  • Eliminate gender stereotypical messages from the environment
  • Teach about personal space
  • Give children the language to use to address different situations
  • Brainstorm options children can take during conflicts
  • Encourage creativity
  • Introduce plants and pets for children to take care of
  • Teach specific social skills with as much intention as you do for math and literacy
  • Introduce classroom chores
  • Introduce and practice self-calming strategies
  • Allow children to pick topics of conversation during meals and snacks

Engage with children in ways the promote growth mindset.  For more information, Consider taking CCEI course CUR121: Establishing Growth Mindset Practices in Early Learning Environments.

October 2018 Student Spotlight – Nancy Ann Villegas

My child care career started when I turned 16.  I lived in Michigan and there was an opening for a teacher aide at Telamon Migrant Head Start.  I really didn’t think I would want to do this as a career because at that time I just wanted to stop picking vegetables in the field for a living.  I started college once I graduated but 3 semesters later dropped out to marry my finance of 2 years.  A divorce and 2 children later, I was still working at Migrant Head Start but wished I had pursued my education to better provide for my children.   In my free time, I coach the All American Blue Jays tee ball team in which my youngest son is the catcher. I sing in a country/oldies band occasionally.

I really enjoyed spending time with the children, seeing them grow and share their smiles. I figured why not get my education in this field. More than anything, I believe giving all children a chance at being happy is the best medicine for both children and teachers. Therefore, this was my chance for making sure I could help children.  I will be completing my Associates Degree in Education this December 2018. I was awarded my CDA by the Council of Professional Recognition in 2012.  I plan to pursue my bachelor’s Degree then my master’s and finally my Doctorate Degree in Education.

I continue to work for Migrant Head Start that sends me to different states in the summer. I have taught in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and now Missouri. I absolutely love what I do. I wanted to be a director for 2 years and decided this year to take this course. I dedicated myself, I worked full-time at the head start, provide for my 2 children 12 and 6 years old. Once my home responsibilities were done, I would do my work from 10pm to 3am and of course weekends. I was tired, I was sleepy, I even cut down on TV but so worth it. Thanks to our Good Lord I finished. I am blessed to say now I am a Director of Migrant Head Start in Lexington, Missouri. The program that prepared me was CCEI. They know how to motivate you. I recommend this program to all who want to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Thank you for your support my children Roland, Nathaniel, Mom and Mrs. Laura Hamilton. You sent me emails to keep me going. Thank you.

October 2018 Newsletter – Bullying: Books Lists and Classroom Resources

There are many resources available online that are free and easily adapted for children of different ages. Teachers can use books as conversation starters, or as inspiration for role plays or theater arts activities.   Below are links to book lists, lesson plan templates, and other activity ideas that can help you create an environment that works to prevent bullying.

For the Main Article on Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Bullying Warning Signs, CLICK HERE.

For Creating a Learning Environment that Addresses Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Director’s Corner Bullying Prevention Reflection, CLICK HERE.

ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Bullying in the Preschool Environment

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers GUI100: Bullying in the Preschool Environment as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users October 1-31, 2018.

Bullying is one of the most concerning social interactions facing children and schools today. While the media picks up stories of bullying in high school, researchers have shown that bullying behaviors are learned much earlier in life. Preschool is often the first time children are exposed to a social group and it is common for children to begin experimenting with different types of social interactions. Preschool teachers have a strong opportunity and responsibility to create a positive social environment that teaches children appropriate social interactions in order to prevent bullying.

According to the Maryland State Department of Education, bullying is defined as “aggressive behavior that is repeated and intentional and occurs over a period of time that affects a child’s ability to benefit from the school’s programming.” Bullying is also characterized as a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power.  Typically, younger children engage in physical and verbal bullying. As children get older the methods of bullying become more sophisticated. This is when relational bullying tends to occur. However, children who bully will usually continue to engage in physical and verbal bullying as they age, as well.

This course provides teachers with important information on identifying and mitigating signs of bullying in the early childhood environment, including communication and positive guidance strategies intended to help children who bully as well as victims of bullying.  The need for this course was determined through feedback from the early childhood community, in addition to an increased awareness in the education community of the need to confront the problem of childhood bullying at its earliest stages.

“Bullying has a negative impact on both the child who bullies and the victim of the bullying,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “This course is designed to explore the different ways that children who bully assert their power, the reasons why children bully, and ways to create a classroom environment that prevents bullying.”

GUI100: Bullying in the Preschool Environment is a one-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.1 IACET CEU upon successful completion. Current CCEI users with active, unlimited annual subscriptions can register for professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account. Users without subscriptions can purchase child care training courses as block hours through CCEI online enrollment.

For more information, visit www.cceionline.edu or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST 

ChildCare Education Institute, LLC

ChildCare Education Institute®, a division of Excelligence Learning Corporation, provides high-quality, distance education certificates and child care training programs in an array of child care settings, including preschool centers, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, nanny care, online daycare training and more. Over 150 English and Spanish child care training courses are available online to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials.  CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard™ training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

October 2018 Newsletter – Bullying: Creating a Learning Environment that Addresses Bullying

Creating a safe, respectful classroom environment in which all children feel valued is a key recommendation from many experts who develop anti-bullying programs. Below is a list of practices that contribute to an anti-bullying environment. Programs that effectively deal with bullying:

Talk about bullying regularly – Rather than waiting for instances of bullying to occur, successfully programs intentionally talk about bullying to students, parents, community members, and employees. Programs work to share information about the effects of bullying with each of these audiences in an effort to decrease bullying behaviors.

Promote empathy and compassion – Through planned activities and spontaneous responses, teachers work to help all members of the community to interact with one another in an empathetic way.  Teacher use a variety of resources, including children’s literature, to help children practice being compassionate and empathetic.  Members of the program also model these skills for other members of the community.

Communicate the value of similarities and differences – Programs use classroom design, conversations, decorations, toys, and materials to convey messages of worth and value.  These elements are present each and every day, during planned activities and spontaneous interactions.

Empower children – By making sure each child feels empowered programs take steps to decrease bullying behavior, which occurs when there is an imbalance of power between two individuals. Teachers can provide social scripts for students who may need support feeling comfortable speaking up for themselves. Teachers find positive outlets for children who may be tempted to explore their ability to capitalize on power imbalances through bullying behaviors. Teachers also role play steps children can take if they witness an act of bullying, which empowers those children who find themselves in the roe of bystander.

Create trusting relationships with children – When a program teaches children to talk to a trusted adult about being bullies or witnessing bullying, they then must respond when children report these instances.  Tattling is something that early childhood educators often discourage. However, it is important that caregivers be responsive when children share their reports, otherwise they will learn that making reports is pointless.

For the Main Article on Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Bullying Warning Signs, CLICK HERE.

For Book Lists and Classroom Resources, CLICK HERE.

For Director’s Corner Bullying Prevention Reflection, CLICK HERE.

October 2018 Newsletter – Bullying: Bullying Warning Signs

It is important that educators become familiar with the warning signs that a child may be involved in bullying.  Some warning signs that a child is being bullied include:

  • Changes in behavior, eating, and/or sleeping habits
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Ripped clothing or lost personal items
  • Physical ailments – headaches, stomach aches, etc.
  • Loss of interest in school and social events
  • Self-harm behaviors

Some signs that a child is bullying other children include:

  • Increase in aggression
  • Possession of extra money or items that do not belong to them
  • Overly concerned about their reputation
  • Competitiveness
  • Blame others for problems and don’t take responsibility for their own actions

You can find out more about warning signs here.

For the Main Article on Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Creating a Learning Environment that Addresses Bullying, CLICK HERE.

For Book Lists and Classroom Resources, CLICK HERE.

For Director’s Corner Bullying Prevention Reflection, CLICK HERE.