What can teachers do?
The school environment plays a critical role in the social development of its students. Teachers can work together with students in a number of ways to avoid isolating classmates.
- Promote and encourage social interactions for children who may be struggling socially by avoiding ‘last one picked’ situations. You can do this by pre-selecting groups or drawing from a hat.
- Organise a group of classmates to reach out to a student who is isolated. Schools can create form programmes such as buddying or peer mentoring.
- Let all students know their classroom contributions are valued and give them opportunities to help others.
- Arrange a classroom discussion around friendship. Ask students to feed back on what friends should and shouldn’t do, with specific examples. This can be used as a foundation for any future discussions if a student is being left out.