I know ... Friday should be a food post, but the only food pic I had was a pork loin off the grill ... and well, ... it's been a bit porky here this week at Pure Florida.
So, how about another of our periodic looks inside a school ...
Bus duty is not usually very exciting, even at our school, which seems to be having more than it's usual share of dust ups this year. The bus drivers don't wait long which helps, because the kids know they need to get out there and on that bus pretty quick or they're going to be left behind.
Of the three teachers assigned to manage the 500 or so kids who ride the afternoon buses, I usually get there first due to the proximity of my classroom. Yesterday as I walked out and did my preliminary scan of the loading zone, a shriek sounded from my right.
I turned to see two girls, about 40 feet away, punching each other while a third girl dashed in to punch one of the girls from the side.
I started running to them even as I shouted, "Hey! Cut it out!".
The third girl who was throwing those side punches backed off as I got to the two main fighters who were now locked together, each with fistfuls of the others long hair. To preserve anonymity, let's call them "Cindy" and "Nancy" ... not their real names of course.
Try and picture two girls, facing each other, but bent over facing down due to the fact that each had the other's hair. This made it hard to punch each other, although they kept trying. Their feet were free though and each was kicking and screaming at the other.
They weren't listening to my commands to stop so I got between them and wrapped my right arm around their 4 extended arms and curled it cinching and imobilizing their arms. At least now they couldn't punch anymore.
Plus it was now hard to kick each other while I was standing between them. All the while I am commanding them to stop, to break it up, etc.
Neither one wants to let go of the other's hair however.
By this time, other teachers are coming, but it's another student who works "Nancy" loose while I take "Cindy" by the wrists and walk her quickly away from her opponent. This is like holding on to a gazelle by grabbing it's two front legs.
"Cindy" is wild with rage and the adrenaline of the fight and she's pulling away from me while screaming at the other girl. I don't let go, because she's telling me and showing me that she will head right back into the fight.
This is a kid I teach so I use my calming soft voice while she's tugging and screaming ...
"Cindy, calm down, it's okay, come on, it's Mr. FC, calm down, take a breath ..."
It's almost a chant. I've found over many years of fight breaking that as soon as you get a fighting kid separated and away from the other, you should switch from COMMAND VOICE to soft calming voice. It works most of the time.
In this case, "Cindy" calmed down enough to start listening and I walked her quickly over and on to her bus. The bus had been waiting and with the last kid now aboard, it rolled away.
A few minutes later, I was filling out three discipline forms in triplicate and writing a detailed email account of the event for the dean and the school resource officer (a deputy).
All that action and the resulting paper work did get me out of a boring faculty meeting about the FCAT test.
Every cloud has a silver lining.