There aren't enough scented candles and bubble bath in the world to soothe the stress of a teacher who has completely lost control in her classroom and can't get it back. But you can get it back. While considering the horrible incident at Spring Valley, I've thought about it a thousand ways. There is no reason I could ever find or see to hurl a child across a room. I don't care how disrespectful or defiant they are– there are better ways to handle a situation than what we saw in Spring Valley.
YES! I've had a kid defiantly poke out his lip and tell me he wasn't leaving the classroom. I've felt the fury as the Defiant One glared smugly at me, nostrils flaring with a knowing grin on his face.
I've seen the other students watching the drama between the Defiant One and me. Time crawls and the scene plays out in slow motion. Your senses are sharp. You hear every rustle. You feel the eyes. The two gunslingers have faced off on the square, and only one will come out alive. Honestly! Honestly? When you sink to the level of arguing with a child, you become child-ish. There is always, I mean always a better way.
But what? How do we deal with this? What do we do with the Defiant Ones? How do we get a class to be quiet when they just won't? How do we regain our composure, control of our classroom, and our sanity?
My goodness teachers, let's remember the tools we can use. Let's be the professionals we're called to be. Of course, it is easy to Monday morning quarterback a situation that we had nothing to do with and weren't there to see. But if you'll listen to this show, Steve Miletto has the best tool you'll need for handling your Defiant One.
Essential Questions: Throwing Students Across the Room Does Not Work, This Does…
- What are the five elements of classroom management?
- How do you get a classroom to be quiet without constantly “shushing” them?
- How can teachers and principals de-escalate a situation that has gotten out of control?
This whole situation breaks my heart. This is not who we are. This shouldn't happen in our schools. This cannot be the noble profession we love, cherish and inhabit. Let's talk about this and do better.
My gratitude goes out to Steve Miletto who gives us such a succinct review of the principles we all know we should. His de-escalation strategy is masterful.
Educator Resources from this Episode
- Guest Steve Miletto is at @SRMiletto and has his show at Teaching, Learning, Leading K12
- THE Classroom Management Book by Harry and Rosemary Wong
- Spring Valley YouTube Video of the Officer Removing a Child from Math Class
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
- Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
- Simple advice for coping with stress at work.
- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)