Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Good but Bad Day

I taught a science lesson yesterday about kinetic energy and sound.  I brought combs, a triangle, a vibraslap, and a guitar as my props to help me explain how sound is made from kinetic energy and vibration.  The lesson went well.  I had one issue of management when I handed out the combs before I explained what was to be done, but I survived that and regained control over the class.  My lesson was fun for me and all the students were participating which was a change because I have always had one or two students who I did not seem to reach.  That was the good side of the day.

For the bad part of the day.  A student (aka Bill) was having a bad day.  I started noticing that he was having problems during the morning recess.  He got into an argument with some students and came into class angry.  Mrs. Walker calmed him down and he was able to join in on the class.  Everything seemed to be good until after lunch.  Bill came into the class arguing with two students and Bill ended up knocking one of them to the ground.  Again Mrs. Walker was able to calm him down and he participated in the class.  After the afternoon recess Bill came in fighting with some students and crying.  He sat at his desk with his head down while the rest of the class did their silent reading.  Mrs. Walker, Andrea, and I sat at the table to plan for next week.  Suddenly Bill came running from the back of the room, past us, and punched the student whose desk was only one foot away from Mrs. Walker and us.  Andrea and I sat there thinking what the heck just happened.  Mrs. Walker made sure that the student was okay and took Bill out in the hall to talk.  The rest of the class just started to talk immediately and there was one student who was continually trying to work the class up.  Andrea and I settled the students down and they continued with their reading.  It turned out that the student that got punched had only looked back at Bill; whether he was looking at Bill or looking at his friend that was between the two of them I do not know and I will probably never know.  I still can not believe that Bill would do that so close to us.  I know that he has anger management issues and his first reaction is to always fight, but I had never seen it in the classroom before; we always had to deal with issues from the playground.

I think about the situation and wonder what could be done?  Why do the situations between Bill and some of the students seem to be building from week to week?  How can the situation be resolved before something even more serious happens?  I am glad that I was in the class to witness the incident because in my personal world stuff like that does not happen.  I do not understand it and I have never experienced it before.  But, now I see it is a reality and I could possibly have to deal with worse.  I have heard time and time again about youth violence but until I experienced a small part of it I never really believed it.  It is something that I am going to have to continue to reflect on because I do not know how best to deal with such a situation.  If it was my own classroom I could possibly have some more answers because I would hope that I would know the students better and know how best to work with them.  But I will not know that until I am in that situation of having my own classroom or working with students more than one day a week.



November 20, 2008 - Posted by | Pre-internship

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