Nepotism, groupism and favoritism are rampant in almost every field- whether Bollywood or any other sector. This affects not only the adults but also children.
When students go to school they must feel the independence to express themselves, healthy competition with peers, portray their skills and talent and have a bond of friendship and empathy towards each other rather than developing hatred and abuse.
It is often seen that when a parent favours one child over the other, the other child develops negative feelings like grudges and jealousy.
Groupism can lead to highly destructive behaviour in students such as – gossiping against others, scapegoating and bullying. The students, who are bullied, often feel peer pressure, inferiority complex and low self-esteem.
“Playing favourites is one of the most damaging problems in any group of people.” – Robert Whipple
To ensure that the school environment is conducive, it is important for the teachers to be highly cautious with their words and actions.
In classrooms, it is the responsibility of the teachers to see to it that knowingly or unknowingly, they do not give rise to favoritism and groupism. Some key points to take a note of:
When students of the same caste or community, come together, the use of vernacular language is a common occurrence, in which the students of other caste feel left out, as language becomes a communication barrier. This leads to groupism. The schools must strictly follow one language communication policy and the teacher must see to it that he or she does not discuss in the vernacular language commonly used in the class and also stop students who are doing so. One common language used in school should be English or a particular vernacular language for everyone, if at all it is a vernacular medium school.
2. Eye Contact:
Sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, while discussing in class, the teacher maintains eye contact with bright students or favourite students, this makes other students feel left out, and gives rise to doubts in their minds, that the teacher favours only certain students. To eliminate such thoughts, maintaining eye contact with all is important.
3. Appropriate seating arrangements:
Whenever the teacher notices that certain students sitting next to or close to each other are forming groups which show signs of bullying others, then the teacher must immediately split them by changing their seating arrangements.
4. Spread positivity:
Whenever questions are asked by the teachers in the class, even if certain students give incorrect or inappropriate answers, the teachers must correct them in a subtle way, also find something positive in their answers if possible and never forget to praise and appreciate their attempts otherwise they will not have the confidence to answer again in the class.
5. Innovative methods of class interactions:
It is a very common method, in which, teachers ask questions, and a set of common bright students raise their hands to answer, and it becomes a daily practice by the teacher to give chance to only a handful of students to answer repetitively, and hence they are been portrayed by the teacher as favourites. It is always good to also engage the less bright and shy students as well. For this, the teachers can use some innovative methods of class interactions. Calling out random roll numbers, names starting with or ending with particular alphabet like ‘A’ or keeping a jar of chits having roll numbers and picking chits every time will be great ways to give equal opportunity to all.
6. Encouraging collaboration:
To weed out groupism, encouraging collaboration and group work is a great method. To form groups of mixed level of students for group activities and then praise the collective team effort and collaborative success, rather than praising particular individuals, is the responsibility of the teacher. This encourages students to become more supportive towards each other and understand of working towards a common goal.
It is necessary to make every student feel valued. This will be a remarkable step to curb bullying in schools.
A workshop plan on bullying and its ill-effects is available with us, please check – https://www.holistiquelearning.com/resources/workshop-plans/bullying-and-its-ill-effects