Creating a safe and respectful environment

Jul 02, 2013

It doesn’t matter whether you are on the field, in a gym, or in a classroom.  As coaches, mentors, or teachers, we are in a position to set expectations and create a safe and respectful environment.  Feeling safe and secure allows kids to cope with life’s up and downs in a healthy manner. 

When working with Joe Coles from Rachel’s Challenge on the Healthy Choices, Healthy Children: Rise Above Bullying Edition, he shared some of his best practices for educators with us, and we added a little of “The Ripken Way” flair. 

Whether you coach in the classroom or on the field, here are some practical tips:

  • Be proactive - Bullying behavior usually occurs in unsupervised areas
  • Make it fun for everyone - Encourage inclusion through group activities, varying and monitoring groups
  • Set clear and consistent limits on behavior, ensuring that everyone is aware that bullying will not be tolerated
  • Explain why - Remind youth that the purpose of reporting an incident is not to get someone into trouble but that reporting helps to get someone (being bullied) out of trouble
  • Celebrate the individual – Be an affirmer to build resilience in youth

These are just a few.  For more strategies, head over to our Materials to download HCHC: Rise Above Bullying Edition (check out the “Game Plan” section for more of these coaching tips). 

If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments section below!