Archive for May, 2017


This semester we took two class periods to discuss our online identities and cyber-bullying. During those classes, we looked at different hypothetical situations and how we, as future educators, would handle them. I found this topic to be particularly interesting, and decided to look deeper into the subject as a whole due to how widely effected students in the united states are by cyber-bullying.

What is cyber-bullying?

According to the Cyber-Bullying Research Center, cyber-bullying is defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” In other-words, it is the intentional harming of an individual through texting/cell phones or social media.  The repetition is also an important distinction in order to be classified as bullying.

Who is effected by cyber-bullying and why does it matter?

A survey conducted by the Cyber-Bullying Research Center found that roughly 28% of students had been cyber-bullied, though other stats have indicated a higher number of students experience cyber-bullying. In a 2006 study, 11% of the students surveyed admitted that they had cyber bullied others at least once (and 2% admitting to doing so at least 2–3 times a month. (Kowalski and Limber, 2006) Nearly half of the students who said they had been cyber-bullied said that was targeting from other classmates.

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A study performed by A. Weibel and J. Fern also suggest that gender is a factor in the interpretation and experience of cyber-bullying. “For the statement, ‘I consider cyber-bullying to be, using discriminatory language in a joking manner via interactive technologies,’ females agreed more often than males. However, the literature stated if a behavior is interpreted as a joke, then the interaction is not considered cyber-bullying (Nocentini et al., 2010).” An article on by Caralee Adams states, “While research shows that cyberbullying makes both boys and girls feel angry, sad, and embarrassed, girls are more likely to react with frustration — “Why doesn’t anyone like me?” — while boys are more often scared, perhaps of back alley retribution.” (Adams, 2017)

Do to its repetitive nature, the bullying can be “very emotionally or psychologically damaging,” as well as physically stressing (Cyber-Bullying Research Center, 2014). It can severely impact students’ self-esteem and interfere with their daily lives and academic careers. “Cyber-bullying has the potential to cause public humiliation on a large scale and can have detrimental effects on victims such as suicidal thoughts.” (Weibel and Fern, 2012) The Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding also cites increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, loss of interest in activities and increased health complaints as effects of cyber-bullying. The FCRU also says that “bullying can lead to thoughts about suicide, sometimes persisting into adulthood. In one study, adults who were bullied as youth were three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations.” (, 2017)


What can schools and educators do?

“The stuff [the cyber bullies] said really affected [her]. I don’t know how I could ever say something like that. It was just kind of ridiculous. It made [her] be mean to people for awhile. [She] just didn’t want to do anything with anyone; [she] didn’t want to deal with it. It affected [her] mood, [her] relationships. It affected [her] academically. [She] stopped coming to school for a few days.” – high school female (Kowalski and Limber, 2008)

Due to how widespread this problem really is, as educators, it can be a difficult task to tackle head on. First and foremost, educators need to be aware of how to identify cyber-bullying, or rather, how to recognize it. Where a harmless joke crosses the line into bullying is a blurry and often subjective stance which can make the identification of cyber-bullying even more difficult.

One way a school can address cyber-bullying is through policy implementation. Like the ISTE standards we discussed in class, schools can have a thorough list of standards in their policies that address cyber-bullying, as well as consistent consequences for students who engage in that behavior. The ISTE standard 2B says, “Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.” With clear and concise expectations available for students, there will be no misunderstanding should a problem occur that the school needs to handle.

As a school district, it is important to have supports in place and to have regular discussions with students about the matter, especially about why it is so harmful. These discussions can also include the importance of general internet safety. Having a training system in place for staff on how to deal with cyber-bullies and how to interact with cyber-bully victims can also be very beneficial “to establish a climate that discourages bullying.” Not every staff member needs to be an expert, but all should be aware of it and should have minimal knowledge on the usage of different technologies and social medias that could be used to cyber-bully. This can be beneficial when discussing proper usage.

Sharing resources and information with parents and encouraging reporting of occurrences are also beneficial ways to discourage cyber-bullying.

Sample Reporting Forms: 

parents notereportingparent 222


Future Application

In my future career as an educator, I can take the advice of resources I have introduced by staying informed and up-to-date on the technology students are currently using. By staying up-to-date, I can more effectively demonstrate or explain to students in my class the proper usage and how to ethically navigate online spaces. Using consistent discipline practices for bullying and cyber-bullying is also necessary in order to maintain a safe classroom for all of my students. Also, encouraging students to report their experiences and creating an environment in which they feel comfortable enough to do so is imperative.



(Course Content Materials)

Corwin. (2005). Resource A: Cyberbullying Scenarios for Discussion. Retrieved from

ISTE Standards FORSTUDENTS. (n.d.). Retrieved May, 2017, from

What is Cyberbullying? (2015, December 11). Retrieved May, 2017, from
Cyberbullying Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved May, 2017, from
(Outside Peer Reviewed)
Kowalski, R., Limber, S., & Agatston, P. (2008). Cyber Bullying: The New Moral Frontier.
Weibel, A., & Fern, J. (2012-2013). The Relationship Between Gender and Perceived Cyber … Retrieved May, 2017, from file:///C:/Users/schlagelKN28/Downloads/WeibelAshley.pdf
Nocentini, A., Calmasestra, J., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Ortega, R., & Menesini, E. (2010). Cyberbullying: Labels, behaviours and definition in three European countries. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 20(2), 129-142. doi:10.1375/ ajgc.20.2.129

Cyberbullying Effects. (2017). Retrieved May, 2017, from

Cyberbullying: What Teachers and Schools Can Do. (2017). Retrieved May, 2017, from



Add comment May 10th, 2017

Final Reflections

“The takeaway from my experiences have helped me understand what I believe makes a good teacher. A good teacher is one that can take course content and work with it in different ways to achieve success with a range of students and their learning styles. A good teacher should be enthusiastic about what they’re teaching and honest about subject matter. Not everyone is going to like all of the material to be covered over a semester- and that’s okay, but being able to take that topic and still keep students engaged and on task is an important trait for teachers to posses. In that respect, being familiar with assigned coursework and actively promoting the sharing of ideas in the classroom to further academic study is essential. In my opinion though, one of the most important aspects of being a good teacher is having the ability to relate to students and create working relationships within the classroom. ‘When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).’

At the start of this semester, we were asked to discuss what we thought were the qualities of a “Good Teacher.” Written above was my initial response. Now at the end of the semester, looking back at my answer, I don’t think my opinion has changed, so much as expanded. Being enthusiastic, knowledgeable, engaging and personable are crucial; but being informed is the foundation of our success as future teachers.

We must teach as trauma informed educators. This means being aware of the family situations our students come from- single parent homes, incarcerated family members, gang or crime involvement, severe poverty etc. We also have to be culturally informed- being aware of how race, sexuality, gender, and social class shape the identities and experiences of students coming into the class, as well as how stereotypes and social perceptions can (potentially subconsciously) effect our interactions with students. Coming from a high school that was far from diverse, learning about trauma informed teaching and culturally informed teaching was invaluable; especially when working with my cooperating teacher in the Beloit school district. In most ways, it was a totally new experience.

“Teachers understand that children learn differently.”

In class, we discussed the differences between psychologists’ theories and how they can be applied in the classroom. This helped me to understand that children learn differently. I think the most helpful tool we looked at in class was Piaget’s stages of development and the different tests we have to assess where a student may fall on that continuum.


The most important thing I learned this semester was the importance of student centered teaching and how it can effect a classroom. I also think that the way we can utilize technology in class plays a huge part of student-centered practice. Being able to look at different methods and kinds of tech was really informational.


After graduation, I’m not sure that I will necessarily continue this blog, but I do think it would be beneficial to keep an unofficial log of experiences related to my educational career. Staying up to date and connected between my professional online avenues such as my Linked In account and my resume will be necessary to maintain my digital identity.

Add comment May 6th, 2017

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