My goodness... it was one of those weeks that I didn't mind seeing the end of!
It's about to head into official Spring here in NZ and the students at schools seem to be suffering from a combination of cabin fever and spring fever combined. You can barely turn a corner at school without stumbling across two students making out (which, although I can remember being like that, still makes me want to vom a little in my mouth) and it's a rare day when fights aren't breaking out amongst students.
Now yes, I do teach in South Auckland... and the reality is that some of my students' home lives aren't all that different to that seen in movies like "Boy" and even "Once Were Warriors". Some of them haven't learnt the appropriate ways of dealing with anger... some don't understand to let go. Still, Wednesday was a nightmare.
Lining my students up outside my class, I was handing their mark sheets to them individually before letting them enter the class. All of a sudden, across the hall, I see one of my form class students in his class literally strangling one of his classmates. Ushering all my students into class I run into the class and grab hold of his arm trying to stop him. In order to understand how ridiculous this looked, this student makes me look like a dwarf. At 5'9" and 100kgs this is damn hard to do but this Year 11 student is at least 6'5" and twice as wide as me. He finally heard the voice of reason (me yelling his name in his ear) and stormed off down the hall. Crisis averted? One of the male staff not teaching that period came and rounded him up into our office until the deputy principal could arrive.
I head into my class and try and calm a rampant Year 9 (13-14 year olds, first year at high school). I think I've just got everyone settled and I'm up at the board when one of the girls literally picks up a desk (to about chest height when standing) and throws it at the boy in front of her, hitting him in the head. Cue round two of students running away, teachers coming into class rooms and damage control.
I sat in the staff room that lunch time with some kind of teaching shell shock. I love my job but on days like that... I think it's just a natural human reaction to curl up in a ball and give the world the finger. May as well do it while I'm young and stupid and have the energy :)
That said, a morning full of doing chores this morning has felt like a vacation :D