Thursday, 8 January 2009

Fighting in the hall...

So that was pretty scary.

Last period today I was showing a few episodes of "Friends" to my class after a hard day of exams. One of my students who was sitting by the door suddenly opened the door and went out into the hall. I didn't think anything of it at first. The rules are kind of lax in between exams since many student head to the library to study or outside to play basketball while waiting for their next test. I heard excited voices from the hall and figured that maybe a former student was coming back to visit or that a special afternoon snack had arrived (both common events).

I stuck my head out in the hall to find out what was so exciting and saw the tell tale "something bad is happening" circle of students. I figured out a second later there was a fight going on, and with a sinking feeling I realized I was the only authority figure around.

I rushed forward in an attempt to get between them but the one closest to me was lunging towards the other student so I pined his arms down and held him back. Luckily some students on the other side grabbed the other student. After struggling a bit the student in my arms seemed to calm down so I let him go and stood between them in the typical "both arms out, keep 'em as far away from each other as possible" stance. I told the students gathering in the hall to go back to their classrooms. I took a quick toll of the situation and noticed one student had some scratches on his face and the other was bleeding from the mouth.

The student I had been holding back before tried to push past me and kick the other, so I had to hold him back again. Luckily at that moment the principal showed up and things cooled instantly.

I herded my students back into the classroom and put "Friends" back on. I am so glad that fight didn't happen when I was teaching a real lesson because I doubt you could force students to pay attention after that. In this case, watching a sitcom was the perfect distraction.

I'm sad that one of the students that was fighting was one of MY students. The other was an older student. I feel oddly protective and also proud of my students when they do well. Kind of like a big sister. When they do something wrong I feel disappointed. Of course, I can't pass judgment because I have no idea what the fight was about or who started it. It's in the hands of the administration now.

I hope I handled the situation well. I was mostly in shock when it happened. I never would have expected to see a fight here and I really never expected that I would have to be the one to break it up.

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