A Better World

globe.jpg  I’m substitute teaching in the public schools today — middle grade computer classes. No fistfights in my classroom — but just last week, it was a different story.

I was teaching English in another middle school, and they were working independently. Heads bent over desks. Pens on paper. Everything nice and quiet. All of a sudden, a Black girl flew across the room and began beating up a Hispanic girl. I mean, hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, etc. The Hispanic girl fought back; but, by and large, she was getting the worst of it. I told them to stop, but they wouldn’t, so I called the office. A calm voice said, “Somebody will be right down.” Before anybody could appear, the two girls ran out of the classroom and were intercepted in the hall. They were taken to the principal’s office.

I never did find out how or why the fight started. Later in the day, students told me that the Black girl had been suspended. These things are sad and upsetting, but it was amazing how the other kids just laughed and continued on as if everything was normal. The fight in their classroom didn’t seem to faze them.

Today is a much better day. Here’s something that’s posted on the wall of the computer room. I’m going to copy it here, because I want to remember it:

I can take good care of myself, even if I am mad!

I can be productive and accomplish things, even if I don’t feel like it.

I can be okay, even when others are not okay.

Pretty cool, huh? These are words of wisdom to help middle-school kids; but if we all just followed these simple ideas, what a better world it would be. 

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2 thoughts on “A Better World

  1. This is just scary to me, especially having a stepson in middle school. It’s such a tricky age – hormones going crazy, etc. Stay safe, ok, Betty?

  2. I know, Melissa, it’s a worry when you have kids in school. I will say that this doesn’t happen very often though. I’ve had very few kids resort to physical violence, thank goodness.

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