October 2, 2012

My First Fight

At the age of 30, I can officially say I was punched for the first time in my life. (Okay, I'm sure there was punching between my siblings and me when we were kids, but this was my first non-family altercation.)

Something must be in the air today because my students were involved in two fights before 7:30 AM! Silly me, I chose to step in the middle of two scrappy girls who went at each other in my classroom.

I couldn't even tell you what set it off. I've never seen these two girls speak to each other before, but there's obviously quite a bit of animosity between them. All I know is one of the girls screamed at the other, "Do something about it then!" and she sure did.

It felt like several minutes (I'm sure it was just seconds) passed while I desperately held them apart, getting pelted with punches, slaps, scratches, and kicks. Thankfully, one if my boys finally pulled one of the girls away, allowing me to focus on the other (feistier) one while another student went to get help.

I am easily twice the size of these little girls, but my arms are swollen and tender from their little fists.

For the record, no one ever told me I'm expected to step in and break up these fights. But, as the adult in the room, my instinct was to step in and protect my students. (Although, that instinct isn't nearly as strong when its two boys fighting...)

By the time the two girls were finally separated, I was out of breath. And as soon as they were escorted out of the room, I had to refocus my attention on regaining control of my class and proceeding with the lesson as if nothing happened. And, I had six more classes in a row before I had a chance to sit down and breathe.

And people say teachers are paid too much!

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