See something, say something: teaching students to be an upstander
by Janna Nobleza on Jan 30, 2023
It is important that we encourage our students to be upstanders, not bystanders. But how can we accomplish this? We can accomplish this by giving them scenarios or interceding when we see actions where they can speak up. When an upstander sees or hears about someone being bullied, they speak up. When an upstander sees someone cheating on a test, they tell a trusted adult. Being an upstander is not being a tattletale but instead it is being a hero.
In my school we have incorporated the program, See Something, Say Something. When we first started this endeavor, there was a lot of anonymous information being reported by our students. Almost too much but we were glad that students were standing and reporting what they felt was wrong. Over the course of the school year, the information lessened but what we gathered was very valuable in helping to dissolve many situations where students were being bullied. This was helpful because students were able to notify trusted adults of potent situations without losing their confidence and being bullied themselves for being an upstander.
Here are four ways we can teach students how to be upstanders:
- Help our students to understand what it means to be an upstander.
- Teach students about social awareness so that they develop the capacities to feel and demonstrate empathy and compassion for others
- Developing a class upstander agreement with your students with the knowledge they have learned
- Use literature and topics where students can examine things from different perspectives
Want to learn more?
The Community Workshop bundle complements this topic well by focusing on relationship skills, being an upstander, and empathy. Check it out!