Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My question to the group and Dr. J.

This isn't part of the question of the week, so I hope that is alright.

Friday was a long day for me.  My planning period is first block (100 minute blocks).  So, I am sitting there at my desk going through what I was planning to do in my classes for the day.  I was being extra sure to get my ducks in a row because an administrator was supposed to come to my room for a review that day.

I was working away when I heard a commotion in the hallway.  It was mainly just yelling, with a lot of cussing.  I stepped to my door to observe a young man berating a teacher from the room next to mine.

Now the way the doors are set up, I was a ways away from this situation, but I stood at my door to allow the teacher, who is a lady that has been there quite a while longer than I have, to get control of the situation.

The kid was being very aggressive and belligerent towards the teacher and cussing loudly.  So I stepped down about halfway between my door and her door to make my presence known, but not interfere as she attempted to handle the situation.

At some point, the kid sort of stepped towards me and I became involved as he said, "If you don't get out of my f'ing way, I'll hit you!"

I kinda laughed at the suggestion and told him he needed to come up with a different plan of action because there was no way hitting me ended well for him.  He balled his fists.  I told him that if he hit me, he better put everything he has into that one shot because that's all he's getting.  I then told him that he would most likely not remember the next week of his life,

The kid turned and punched at the wall, not connecting with anything.

The other teacher and I proceeded to take the kid to the office, where they dealt with him.

Now, I say all of that to say this.  I was pretty amped up, as most anyone would be when threatened by someone.  And I never touched the kid, nor did I say anything I was later embarrassed about.

I guess my question is, in that situation, do you think I handled it correctly?

Look, I would never straight up threaten a kid and I don't really think I threatened this kid, I was just letting him know that hitting me (or the other teacher, for that matter) was not going to end well for him.  And when he balled his fist up, I prepared myself for the worst, so I let him know that he needed to reconsider.  He was in a violent mood and I remained about as calm as could be expected, I think.  Again, there was a huge adrenalin rush when he said he'd hit me, but I kept myself in control the entire time.

Had he hit me, I don't really know what I would have done.  That's one of those things you just can't be sure of until it happens.  I was quite a bit larger than this kid and never really felt threatened by him, but since he was considering hitting me, I felt I needed to let him know, in his terms, that the consequences might not be to his liking.  

A student who happened to come across this altercation later came to my room and asked me if I had to deal with things like that on a regular basis.  I said that thankfully I did not.  He then told me that the behavior of the student was "ridiculous."

My principal, in a text he later sent to me, said I showed "poise and professionalism" in handling the situation.

I'm just glad it ended well with nobody getting hurt.

If I had to critique myself, I would say I should have just taken the kid to the office immediately when I came out of the room, separating him from the other teacher, instead of allowing it to play out as long as it went.  From the point the kid threatened me, though, I think I did okay, even if I was pretty harsh.  I believe it really did make the kid reconsider his thoughts, which is what kept things from getting uglier, I think.



Anonymous said...

I think you acted very professional. As a female teacher, I am going to guess that the teacher you where helping was very glad that you stuck you head out the door. Then I am sure she was doubly glad that your came out into the hallway. It sounds as if the student was going to possibly hit her.

I had a situation on Friday as well. Must have been a full moon!! My student who left my room had a seizure in the cafeteria. They said that when she came to she was going on and on about her hair. About the discussion her and I had about her messed up color. I was talking shop to her like I do any other student or even a client. Very professional explaining how it should have been fixed. They say she has seizures under stress. So....All weekend I can't help think that in some way I could have caused this student to have a seizure. Even though my principal and family members have said that it was no way my fault. Actually, I am now not sure how I am even going to be able to talk to this student without her taking anything and everything I say out of context and her stressing out again.

So...WE both had a weird Friday Friend!

If it was me in the hallway and you came to my aide. I would think you a HERO
I think you totally acted professional ; )
P.S. Dr. J hasn't posted our blog for this week, has she?? It would be in green like last week, right? I am so new to this blogging thing....LOL

Dr. J said...

Good Morning, Your Principal is happy with how you handled the situation and I think that speaks volumes. Situations like this unfold quickly and our goal is to assess the situation and prevent it from escalating. I was not there but from your post I think your presence in the situation may have stopped a teacher from getting hurt and a student from making a very poor decision. I can't imagine how "amped up" you were. I think my heart would have been pounding in my ears. It appears that outwardly you "Remained Calm." Hopefully, next time this student gets angry he will make better decisions. I hope the school is assisting in some way with this student's behavior. Behavior is consistent and without some type of intervention I am afraid this will continue. I am glad you were there and I would not second guess anything you said - you were very close to the "language of choice." Anyway, I think the situation was too far by the time you arrived on scene to use loc. I am proud of you!

T Watts said...

I appreciate that, Dr. J.

You probably already know, but when you go through a situation like that, it's probably normal to second-guess yourself, think about what you could have done better or differently.

I'm not sure any of the techniques would work effectively in a situation like that. At the time, standing up to him seemed like the best idea and in this case it worked. Had it been a bigger student or, God forbid, he had a weapon of some sort, I don't think I would have done the same thing.

But, it worked, everyone was safe and it seems that everyone was happy with how I handled the situation. I hope to never be in that situation again.

4th District said...

Anytime you have the support of a Principal, its a win. It makes all the difference in the world. As men, we tend to want to come to the rescue of a colleague ESPECIALLY with our aggressive young men... I have had to remember that these young men, for the most part... are still boys, and are not always in complete control of their emotions and adrenalin. That said, I think you did great.

T Watts said...


I kept reminding myself that this young man was exactly what you say... not in control of his emotions.

toothpik said...

Wow! I believe you couldn't have handled this situation any better! You made your presence known yet continued to allow the teacher to take control. In the midst of it you became a "victim", too. It saddens me to know some of today's students have such anger issues they'd lash out at an adult. I could go on about that but why bother. I only hope if this type of situation ever evolves with me, I'd have someone like you "having my back". KUDO's to you!!! GREAT work!!

SuperwomanII now said...

Wow...that was intense...good for you to keep your composure...I know that had to be difficult and I know first hand how things can escalate at a moments notice. I used closed proximity with a student, I talked in a real calm voice asking the student to refer to the class room procedure and respect herself and the class. The student then referenced she was not going to "bow down to me" "she was tired of being nice to me"
I asked for the student not to return to the class unless I have a conference with her parent and I found out first hand where all the craziness comes from. At any rate to make a long story short, this girl made up all kinds of lies on me. I put my hand all in her face. I was in her face yelling. This was it all ended well. The bell rang and the assistant prinicipal said Ms. Swift you have a class you can go. It was actually my planning, but I was soooo thankful for the out...

So at least it was no lies involved...thank goodness for that.

It seems as though alot of these students from all over have alot of bottled up anger. Some seems to really oppose

It feels great to have a good day!!