This year a student has been placed in my class who has in the past exhibited violent behaviour towards her classmates as well as the adults in the room. In order to prepare me for dealing with her, my principal sent me on a workshop yesterday to learn a way in which to deal with the child if she has a violent episode. The CPI training focuses on nonviolent crisis intervention and has, at its core, the safety of all the people in the room.
As a teacher what you want is to prevent the child’s behaviour from escalating. We were reminded of signs that we, as people who work with children daily, already know. She showed us an interesting video to remind us of the importance of non-verbal cues:
The instructor mentioned some techniques that can be used to calm a child down: holding a hand, a stroking, or even giving a hug. I could not help but notice the irony of this as when I was first hired with the board, we were told not to touch the children under any circumstances. I do prefer the message given yesterday as it acknowledges the healing power of touch and how we, as humans, crave the touch of others.
In the afternoon, we were introduced to ways in which to deflect the violence aimed at our bodies. We were also given permission to move away and remove ourselves from the situation that could harm ourselves. We were shown holds to contain a child if necessary – holds that are to be used as a last resort. We practiced them for a while. I do feel, however, that I need to practice it some more. And I hope I never have to use them!
I found it interesting to speak to the other participants at the workshop who are all special education teachers. Their job is to deal with a group of children every day who may display violence. They are accepting of this part of the job and seem adept at dealing with it. I could not help but think as I was speaking to some of them that the CPI training is what an ordinary classroom teacher like me needs as not all children who display violent tendencies have had their behaviour officially documented (especially in the younger grades).
Yesterday was an interesting day. I was reminded of things that I already new; and learned a few new things. Hopefully the CPI training will help me cope with a volatile child in my classroom.
Tonight is the school concert and it is happening in a couple of hours. When my class is not performing their song, I am expected to supervise them in my classroom while the parents watch the show. The day of the concert is a long one; especially when it is filled with excited children. I am hoping that tonight they will be a little calmer than during the day; and that they will bring something interesting with them to keep themselves occupied.
This week I am grateful that for the few moments of quiet that I will have in my classroom before it is filled again with twittering children.
Yesterday I attended the Pembroke Publishers Showcase. This is an event organised by the Pembroke publishing house for interested teachers to attend. At the showcase, authors speak for 20 minutes about their recent publication and while speaking, give us an insight into what the book covers. While listening, I am often inspired and think about ways in which I can improve my teaching practice.
This is the second year that I have attended the event and returned to the workshop as I find it inspiring. I also enjoy the day as I get to spend some time away from the classroom with other teachers. As a result of the day, I now have a teacher book that I want to read to add an extra layer to the literacy component in my classroom.
This week I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the Pembroke Publishing Showcase. The day was interesting and inspiring – and I look forward to next year’s event.
For some reason we were talking birthdays in class – maybe because there are a number of birthdays happening in the next few weeks. One of my students (whom I have known for a number of years), asked me when my birthday was. He was very upset that he had missed it as he had planned on giving me a gift. He must have expressed his disappointment at home because, a few days later, he gave me the gift of a rose for my birthday.
I could not help but smile when I received his gift. He was grinning from ear to ear and was so happy to see that I was pleased with the rose. And me? The gesture had certainly made my day – and is still making me smile when I look at the rose placed on my side table.
I spend my work days planning lessons, preparing for my classes, assessing my students’ work, and teaching. Every minute of my day feels jam-packed and there are times when I do not stop for a breather. Tidying up the new activities I have created as well as filing my students’ tasks is a low priority in my day.The time may have come, though, to set some time aside to clear up the teetering piles of paper on my desk.
Today was a PA in elementary schools across Ontario – that is, it was a day set aside in which teachers could work on their report cards. This morning when I stepped into the school at 8am, the halls were quiet. My classroom was silent without the chatter of young children.
I sat at my desk determined to make use of the day. I did not want to have to work on reporting at home over the weekend. I am trying my best to keep the work at school and not spend time at home on classroom projects. It is not always feasible to do, but I am managing to spend more time on other activities at home besides work.
It is extremely difficult for me to sit for hours at a time in front of the computer. Like many of my students, my body wants to move! But I force myself to sit still and focus on the task at hand. My efforts were rewarded this afternoon when I finished all of my students” report cards after 5 hours.
My treat when I got home was to have a cup of coffee and put my feet up while spending time with my current read. Our home was quiet. My children were still at school, and my husband at work. The perfect way to end a working day.