Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Incident

I'm not sure exactly what happened.

These are not words I like to use in the note to the teacher.  Unfortunately, they were true, so I used them.

It was the passing period from 1st to 2nd period.  I had 7th grade core English/world history, so I had basically the same students for two periods (there were one or two who were only in 1st or 2nd).  The passing period is a break for them, so some were outside and some were inside.  I was standing at the front of the room looking out at the classroom, and I didn't see it.

What I did see was one boy push a girl.  He was crying and yelling.  He made some sort of growling guttural noise from the back of his throat.  He was clearly angry and upset.  The girl was laughing.

This was bad, and I tried to intervene, but there was no way for me to get to them (too many students milling about, too many desks in the way, and it happened too fast).  The boy stopped short of punching the girl.  He turned, grabbed his stuff, and fled the room.

(Normally leaving the room without permission is a no-no, but in this case I figured he was making sure that he didn't escalate the situation.)

By this time the period had started, but the class was going wild.  I attempted to restore calm, and I almost had them to a point where I could figure out what had happened when security walked in.  She restored calm in a hurry.  Then she called out the girl who had been shoved and a boy who had been nowhere near the incident.

I got the class back to work by threatening to send out anyone who even referred to the situation (it wasn't an idle threat--I would have done it had anyone tested me).  So, it wasn't until later that I learned that the random boy had shoved the first boy, and the girl had laughed at him.

Later, the assistant principal came in.  "What is going on in this class today?" he asked.  (I've known this AP for a while, so I knew I wasn't in trouble.)  He took me aside to get my take, as he said that the students involved were not all that reliable.  So, I got to admit to him that I didn't see what had caused the ruckus.

After class, I saw a knot of students standing together.  From their direction I heard that noise that the boy had made.  Several times.  (At least they kept it outside.)  3rd period knew the story, but they were good enough not to refer to it.

I'm pretty sure the story is known throughout the whole middle school by now.

I guess this brings my total classroom fights to four.  Although, I wonder if this counts as a fight.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you handled the whole situation well.

    I HATE having to say that first line, but sometimes I have to. These transition times are the most difficult because students jostle each other and make little comments, plus they're pent up from sitting for a full period.

    Once, I subbed in my kids' school for PE, which normally goes well but there was one huge incident when my back was turned. Being that it was my children's school, it was that much more mortifying. Those kids often got in trouble, but still...


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