Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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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.
-Mary Hope
Copyright 2017

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A Strategy on How to Deal with Furious Parents

Recently I received a vicious email from a parent of one of my students, and it was no fun to deal with; however, I learned a helpful strategy on how to deal with anger from this situation. There had been a misunderstanding about that parent’s student, and I had not dealt with it the greatest because it was Friday afternoon, and I was just trying to keep the peace. After talking with a couple fellow teachers, I was able to brush off the angry words and keep perspective. A few months ago, I would have shriveled up under the scorching words, but I have been learning how to respond in a healthy way to anger and not shrivel.

Anger is a messenger that tells us something is wrong, and it also covers over hurt and insecurity. By quickly having other teachers to process the hurtful email with, I was able to get the perspective that this person was showing way more anger than the situation prescribed, and I did not need to let the anger control me. That parent’s anger was theirs, and I didn’t need to let it hurt me. In light of that insight, I waited a day before I responded to the email (to let both of us cool down) and in that period I talked with a wise lady who gave me an even better strategy to help the situation.
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