It was a tough day. From the minute I walked into the building, I was inundated with challenging discipline events.
To start, three boys were in the office because of some excessive rough-housing right after they got off the bus. All three were regulars to the office; each with a variety of needs and challenges. While I was working with them, I told yesterday's toughest case that he had to wait to speak with me. The parent of yet another very challenging student waited to speak with me, but ended up leaving.
This was all before 9:00 am.
I squeezed in a difficult conversation just before one of the three rough-housers from the morning had escalated and was out of control. Just before I got to him, he left the building and threw a rock at a staff member. I spent the next forty minutes alternating between assisting the Behavioral Interventionist in a variety of holds, taking notes, keeping my office from getting wrecked, and getting spit on. I got spit on a lot this morning.
There was a short lull after that. I spoke with yesterday's challenge, returned a phone call about pushing on a bus, filled in Rule 4500 paperwork (restraint report), and wrote a memo about the difficult conversation from earlier.
Then, another very challenging student lost his #*%^. He calmed down with some help, but at noon, went out to recess. He resisted all calm efforts to come inside like he was supposed to. Fortunately, raising my voice was all I needed to do - no holds or escorts needed.
By 1:00 things seemed to be getting better. With only 7 of 17 sixth graders in school (the rest on a field trip), I scrapped my social studies lesson and let the students play on computers. Then, I made the big mistake of checking my email.
My wife and the commissioner of education both sent me news of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Twenty children and six school staff were killed in Connecticut.
Suddenly, my incredible tough day seemed pretty easy. Everyone of my students and staff went home today. I hugged my own children tonight and tucked them in to bed.
So I got spit on.