This Teacher's Trick To Help Stop Bullying Is So Clever

The experienced educator says she started doing this exercise after the tragic Columbine High School shooting back in 1999. 

Bullying is a terrifying subject for both parents and teachers. Both parents and teachers try their best to be vigilant, but sometimes the signs can go unnoticed, or worse, are only discovered after it's too late.
One Florida teacher, Kathy Pitt, isn't letting that happen though.
In a post on her blog, Momastery, parent Glennon Doyle Melton shared a story about her son's teacher and her brilliant trick to monitor every student in her classroom and their treatment of one another. 

Every Friday, Pitt passes out small cards to each child and ask them to name four classmates they'd like to sit with next week, and to nominate one student they believe was "an exceptional student citizen" that week.
According to the mum, the students submit their cards privately, knowing their answers may or may not be honoured. The cards are later read and analysed by Pitt, who checks for any social patterns that may be concerning. 

"When I came up with the idea of simply distributing the cards, it really was to find out which children were belonging and which children were not," she said.
Every single Friday, after the students went home, she'd review the cards and look for patterns:
  • Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
  • Who doesn't even know who to request?
  • Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
  • Who had a million friends last week and none this week?
Although the cards made it clear to see the most "exceptional" students, it was the names that showed up the least that Pitt knew she needed to monitor the most.

"My son's teacher is looking for lonely children," the mum explained in her post. "She's looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She's identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class's social life.
"She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she's pinning down — right away — who are being bullied and who is doing the bullying."

The experienced educator says she started doing this exercise after the tragic Columbine High School shooting back in 1999. 
"This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that all violence begins with disconnection," Melton wrote. "All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy knowing that children who aren't being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary." 

It's important that all children feel seen and cared for, not only by teachers and parents but by their peers too. Pitt encourages her students to get to know students who are often left out, and it's paying off.  

Through enforcing this practice of kindness and inclusion with her students, Pitts is establishing a fundamental empathy and awareness in her students that will ultimately make them a better person. 

"I hope the message they're getting is I care about you and I want you to care about each other," Pitt said.

Readers, do you think this would work in our classrooms? What good methods have you come across with your children’s school? We would love for you to share in the comments.

Laura Doyle, mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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