Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Learning How to Diffuse a Person Who Wants to Fight

Today some of my students just wanted to fight – verbally. Since I have been working on my own anger issues, I was able to let them voice some of their opinions; however, I did not let them get me riled up and give them a show. The students did not like me butting into their conversations, but if they are going to talk when it is time to do work, I will interrupt what they’re saying. 
Yesterday during our GREAT program about gang resistance, students practiced their listening skills. I learned a thing or two as well, and so when they were venting their frustration today, I pulled out a note pad and start taking notes. The students wanted me to give them a quick response and reasons, but I told them I needed to think about it. One student got so mad because it seemed like she wanted a fight today.
I did not give into their desire to fight; I am glad for that. When I explode at students, it does not turn out well. I am thankful that I am learning how to be around people that are angry but I do not need to let their anger pull me in and cause me to do things I would regret. The students did not focus very well on the rest of the lesson; however, they did settle down. 
One student respectfully shared her opinion on the topic, and I could hear what she was trying to get across much easier than the other students who are all riled up. I said to that student “Thank you for sharing your opinion respectfully.” So even though I’m still thinking about a response, it feels like a win because I connected in a positive way with the one student, and I kept my cool.
What I learned about diffusing an angry person, is to not respond in the same manner. I could see I was making one student even more angry because I was not getting angry back. Then when I moved on with the lesson, she just sat down but I did not say things I regret.
I can let other people feel angry, but I do not need to join them. I can model self-control and keep on teaching. What happened today was not a pleasant, yet I am glad it happened because I gained another tool in my relational toolkit.
Peace!
-Mary Hope
Copyright 2017

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