I haven’t had a fight in my room in years. My streak ended on Thursday.
I have a class that is fairly small, has nice kids, is relaxed and fun. We joke around a lot and end our day on a nice note. I would never expect a fight in this class. I guess I have to expect the unexpected.
I was helping another student make sure she knew how to graph a parabola. When I looked up, two boys were locked in a fight. It wasn’t a wild swinging punching kind of thing. As far as fights go, it wasn’t a bad one.
My first reaction is to call the emergency number to the office. Problem #1, they’re blocking the phone. Problem #2, one boy is at least 250 pounds and the other is a lanky 6 footer. What do I do?
A couple of my math colleagues had heard the scuffle from the office and had already called for back up. At my plea for help, a couple of the boys in the class came over and helped me pull them apart. We got them separated and by then the assistant principals had made it to my room. The boys escorted to the office and consequently suspended.
This whole incident took place in a span of only about two or three minutes. But now I had 35 minutes left of class where I had to calm down my class and myself and try to teach them something. So we all took a few deep breaths and learned how to find the axis of symmetry and vertex of a parabola in standard form.
Breaking up fights is not something that I signed up for when I decided to become a teacher. It’s just one of many elements of the job that most people never even think of when they decide to be a teacher. Or worse, when someone thinks that they know what it’s like to be a teacher. But like every other teacher I know, we accept it as just another responsibility we have, move on and try to get some knowledge into their heads. This is just one aspect of why this is such a stressful job. When is the last time you broke up a fight at work?
PS. I forgot to tell the funny part… One problem with the baggy pants is that they fall down in a fight. It makes it hard to do much when your pants around your ankles!