Often there is a pair of rose-tinted glasses on my blogs about awesome lessons and amazing students. While there are great things going on in my classroom there are also periods, classes, days, weeks etc where I am faced with behaviour issues that impact on learning.
I would like to regularly share stories about difficult situations I have faced in my classroom (or corridor) to paint the realistic view of my teaching life. Some of these stories will have happened as recently as last week or as long ago as I can remember. All the names have been changed.
So here’s story number 1 – Bread.
A lesson taking place straight after lunch. My class arrive, many hyped up by junk food and fizzy juice from lunch. It’s a large class of 28 but eventually they settle. As I’m explaining an example to the class I notice Danny is eating. I give him a warning and ask him to empty his mouth. A short time later while the class are working I find a small piece of bread on the floor. Then I spot another and another. I don’t worry about it and carry on helping students with their work. Then I hear a loud yell. It is Danny, who jumps out of his chair and starts shouting at another student. He is shouting that someone had just thrown a pencil at him. I send Danny outside to cool down. I ask the class who threw the pencil and Adam admits it was him. Why? Danny had been throwing bread at him. I go over to Danny’s table and see a loaf of bread in his bag. Both boys were sent to the isolation class within the department and referrals are sent. This incident took up quite a bit of my time during the lesson and allowed many other students to stop working and not learning. All the time and effort I’d spent planning for that lesson had been wasted.
Now I hadn’t seen any of this happen. I didn’t see the bread being thrown or the pencil being thrown. It makes me wonder what else I miss.