Derry teacher wins award for efforts to eliminate bullying
A Derry school teacher has been recognised for her efforts to eradicate bullying.
Amanda Murphy, vice principal of St John’s Primary School, Bligh’s Lane, is among the first ever winners of the School Staff Award which is part of Anti-Bullying Week.
NI Education Minister Michelle McIlveen revealed the award winners to an online audience earlier this week.
The award acknowledges those in educational environments who go above and beyond the call of duty to prevent and respond to bullying and to raise awareness of bullying.
Miss Murphy was nominated by P7 pupil, Koryn, who credited her for “always listening to the child’s voice”.
Koryn said: “When you go to her about a problem, she sorts it out right away. First, she always tells us if someone is doing something that makes you feel down or upset, you must say, ‘stop I don’t like it’, then, if it keeps happening or if it really hurts you, you come and report it to an adult.”
Miss Murphy also provides “restorative justice” sessions in the event of bullying and has created clubs to support children’s growth. This includes the Resilience Club, Busy Bees, Circle of Friends as well as counselling.
Koryn added: “She even gives us tea and toast. She teaches us to respect ourselves and respect each other and do ‘quiet kindness’ moments to make someone’s day better.
“After a bullying incident happens, she does a check-in chat every week with someone who is doing bullying behaviour and someone who is getting the bullying behaviour done to them.
“She makes a plan and makes the children join clubs and groups and, maybe, go to counselling to help them focus on the good in themselves.
“Miss Murphy never shouts.
“She is calm and she loves children so much, she treats us with respect always.”