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Mrs. Kramer is teaching her 6th grade art class of 35 students the last
period of the day. In the middle of a demo, Mr. Forest (the shop teacher)
rushes in and grabs her by the arm very upset. One of his students is in
uncontrollable tears and threatening suicide and he's desparate and
wringing his hands. What are her options?
How I handled it and other problems that arose:
I'm lucky...my class has been taught how to swing into extra credit mode
(when they finish their projects) so they now do this on their own quickly
and without help from me.
I make a quick phone call to the office for emergency. No answer. Quickly
move into his room and gather the girl and try to head towards the office.
She won't budge. Find one girl in the shop class I'm familiar with and
together we talk her into another part of the room where she won't be
observed by the other children. She's crying so hard she's hiccuping and
shaking. Try to calm her down and when I think it's possible, try making
another phone call. No answer again. Check my class. All going okay.
Another phone call and FINALLY reach the office. Secretary will send
someone. "Someone" never shows. Mr. Forest is teaching HIS class to keep
everyone away from us. Get her to empty room nearby (she still won't go to
the office) and we all sit down on the floor and try to talk with each
other. We talk until it's clean-up time and she seems now to be under
control and under the wing of her friend. Still no one shows from the
office. Leave to release my wonderful class with many thank-you's.
Second problem. What does Mrs. Kramer do to insure this "no response from
the office" will never happen again?
Demand an immediate meeting of the principal, vice-principal, councelor,
secretary and teacher-on-special-assignment (TSA) to decide on a priority
"tree" so if someone can't come, the next one down the "tree" is
responsible. (By the way...each one of these people were in the office at
the time). Make them put it in writing, if you can.
Most importantly...cover yourself. Immediately that day put in writing
exactly what transpired and who you contacted and what, if any, response
you had. C-copy to all involved. If, God forbid, anything happens, you've
told your experience while it is still fresh in your mind and you've put
the administration on their toes.
Little girl seems fine now but it was touch and go for a couple of days.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What would you do?
Mrs. Elliot comes into the classroom at the end of the semester flippin'
mad because Johnny made a D in Mrs. K.'s class when all of his projects
added up to a B. Seems all of the pts. taken off his grade were due to
unexcused tardies to class and this is not fair. How dare she!
How I handle this. Preplan! All of my rules and consequences are in a
policy sheet I hand out to each student at the beginning of the semester.
They must be signed by the student AND parent and returned. Extra credit is
earned to entice them to return it as soon as possible. Keep ALL the
returned slips. When someone complains later, you've got their signature in
reserve to show them. You don't even have to say a word. It works every
Hope this helps. Cya..................
Los Cerros Middle School
Danville, California 94526