It was a few weeks into my first semester of student teaching. I was questioning a particular student (with some emotional/anger issues stated on his IEP) why he didn’t turn in a particular assignment when he had adequate time to finish it (I’ve learned to be punctual, including with my assignments as a student). As I continued to question him to get to the bottom of it, I didn’t realize that I still had the mike hanging around my neck (and on) for the class to hear. He said, “Better take a step back or something’s gonna happen to you.” It didn’t matter that I didn’t have ill intentions (seriously, I didn’t. How does one solve a problem without knowing what the problem is?). What mattered was that he’s perceived as a tough guy in front of others, and he felt threatened, so he threatened me. Here’s an update/a post about him much later in the semester.
Once the first part of the school year ended, I got a two more bunches of students. There’s a group of 4 guys who’s known to be troublemakers, one of which is an 11th grader classified as a 10th grader and in 10th grade classes. There’s a fifth one who doesn’t hang with this group at lunch, except during my class. It was only a few weeks into the second semester. My mentor teacher was off to support another teacher who’s in charge of the Robotics club and the Robotics team had a competition that day. This was the last period of the day and it was a hot day in March, and she left class a few minutes early to pack the camera and her book bag (because she wasn’t returning to class until the next day). Somehow, I lost control of the class. Those particular 5 students got up and wouldn’t stay seated. They wanted to leave class early and I wouldn’t let them. They kept coming, to the door, then messed with the Promethean Board, and kept coming at me to get out of class. I’m not supposed to dismiss students before the bell because they’re my responsibility; if anything happened to them, I’ll legally get in trouble. It only took a couple of minutes and the 11th grader physically intimidated me at the door (this student is over a head taller than me).
(Sigh) Threats of violence.