Carolina Biological OSE – April 2024


Forums / New Teachers / student to student relationships

New Teachers

student to student relationships

Author Post
Cynthia Malcolmson Cynthia Malcolmson 2365 Points

I am a preservice teacher but am lucky enough to have a job in the media center of my neighborhood elementary school. I do just fine in that position for the most part. However, I have noticed that I seem to have trouble helping students with their peer relationships. Bullying and teasing is of course not tolerated. Sometimes I don't actually hear anything but just have to deal with the aftermath. Generally, I pull the students aside and speak to them individually about treating each other with kindness, etc. I am at a loss because it frequently becomes a "he said/he said" situation. I always report the incident to the homeroom teachers, and they never seem to be surprised that so and so is having a problem with so and so. Any suggestions regarding how to help the students get along better would be appreciated! Thanks.

Marie Samba Marie Samba 3635 Points

Hello!!! You can have your students partner with each other (random) and have them get to know each other and as that going on they wont be thinking about being mean.

Cathy Neuman Cathy Neuman 790 Points

Hello- I am also a pre-service teacher. I am currently taking a class in which we are focusing on behavior modifications. We just learned a lot about the benefits of positive reinforcements. Maybe you can find a moment where the children are treating each other with kindness and make a big deal about that. When students see your positive reaction toward kindness, they will want to be a recipient of that reaction, as well. Your positive reaction will most likely prompt other positive behaviors. I hope that helps. ~Cathy

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

I think the sad part is that it is so much easier for students to bully each other than ever before. In the old days, I am 55, if you were going to bully someone there were only two ways to do it, face to face or through a note. At least you knew who your “enemy” was. Now we have technology that makes the prospect of being picked on 24/7/365. You can even do it anonymously, gang up on someone on Facebook or other social media site, take video of someone doing something, edit it and send it viral and have to whole world able to see and access it. I spend a lot of time in the beginning of the year building relationships. I do this through lots of leadership activities that force students to work together to accomplish a task. So many of these activities can be found using keyword searches for “leadership activities”, “anti-bullying activities” and “relationship building activities.” It’s also really important that you set the tone right away and let kids know you won’t tolerate negative talk, behavior or attitudes. It’s amazing how when you monitor this closely in the beginning and nip the behaviors in the bud, they tend to become less frequent. I have had some students that continue with their behaviors, so I make sure they are forced to work in the same group until they can prove to me they can put their differences aside and be successful together. Their group of course is always located really close to me so I can shut down unacceptable behavior and encourage that which is positive. It may take a while, but eventually they do grow to at least tolerate each other. More often than not however I find these students end up being pretty good friends and learn diversity isn’t so bad.

Raeann Hackey Raeann Hackey 1020 Points

Having the students talk it out with one another has proved to be more beneficial in my experiances, rather than the teacher speaking to them. It seems as though if you allow the students to interact with each other, talk it out, they may even end up becoming friends.

Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

Bullying is a serious issue that should be addressed by school-wide policies. I attended this great PD on conflict resolution in education sponsored by the Western Justice center ( Pasadena, CA). One of the facilitators was Tricia Jones They address bullying in a systematic manner and teach teachers how to deal with bullying. We have to build communities in our classrooms to foster student-student, student-teacher, student-school relationships. One simple way of doing this is through morning meetings. Students also need direct instruction in terms of how to handle emotions---emotional literacy is something that needs to be addressed directly. Peer mediation and teaching conflict resolution, dialogue skills are also crucial.

Monica Holloway Monica Holloway 2990 Points

Many great ideas have been posted!!! I would like to share one thought that works really well for me. When the he said/she said starts, I simply redirect to what accepted behaviors are and reiterate the behavioral expectations. I believe it is important to add that we all make mistakes and it is necessary to learn from those and move forward. Typically a quick conversation such as this solves the problem, however I have been known to add that if the problem continues it will then be necessary to spend time at lunch to work through the issue a bit more if needed. On rare occasions, if a scholar is a repeat offender I will ask for a paragraph detailing what the expectations are, and what areas he/she is struggling with. We then brainstorm together to find alternative choices.

Scott Morton Scott Morton 750 Points

Great ideas. Fantastic suggestions and yes people still get hired a media specialists. Wonderful!

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92236 Points

Hi Cynthia,
It sounds like you instinctively knew what to do. Good job! We have to not only model positive behavior attributes with our students, we have to find ways to SHOW them appropriate ways to respectfully interact. It reminds me of an article I read about the right and wrong things to assume when putting students into cooperative learning groups. Our kids may have to be SHOWN how to socially interact. This is a quick read for anyone interested: Teaching Teachers: Lessons in Cooperative Learning

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