BOY, has it been a LONG, yet exciting week! As I have mentioned previously, in addition to my school counseling internship, I am a substitute teacher. I am constantly dealing with the disrespect of students in the classroom. I handle situations accordingly and because of my experiences in the classroom, I am able to confidently deal with students. HOWEVER, this week both in teaching and counseling, I was given two situations that I managed, but was challenged by.
On Wednesday, I was in a session with a student, my supervisor, and a classroom teacher. The student became angry and was swearing, blaming all staff in the session for an academic issue she was having. She was continuously looking at ME and raising her voice at ME. I finally had to explain to her that she was acting inappropriately to myself, the teacher, and my supervisor. I was very direct with her in a way that shocked every one in the room. I explained to her that I was not going to tolerate her talking to me the way she was and that she was blaming others for her own issues and she was not receptive of the support she was being provided. As uneasy as I was with this session, I was told that I had done a great job handling the unexpected situation. After the session, I had a hard time calming down. I had never been put in a situation like that as counselor. As a counselor, we are to be nurturing and therapeutic to students. But I knew that being directive to this student was appropriate and necessary. I DIDN’T LEARN THIS IN GRADUATE SCHOOL! I am however glad that I learned it in internship!
On Thursday, I worked in a 3rd grade special education classroom. SHOULD have been a piece of cake. But was NOT. I was asked to “take a walk” with an angry student. Alright. As I walk into the hall with this boy, he begins to yell, swear, and make mean comments to a passing teacher. He then runs into the main office and begins to throw objects on the floor, rip papers, and hit computers. This behavior continued throughout the day. As a substitute teacher, only having worked with this student briefly once before. I had NO idea what to do. I instantly referred back to my experience working with children with disabilities but without knowing this child, I really couldn’t do anything except try to maintain safety for those around him and seek assistance from those around me. While this situation was not ideal, a great deal of collaboration and teamwork made this manageable for everyone involved.
I was CHALLENGED this week, but I grew professionally. In the classroom or as a school counselor, I am going to be given challenging students in various situations and sometimes being directive is okay.
Many lessons were learned this week. HOWEVER. It’s Friday. Time to “relax” and write research papers!
Be well, Griffs!