One of the things I love about teaching Junior High is how easy it is to break up, or prevent, a fight. Well, one between boys at least.
All sexism aside, I have never had to do more than scream “STOP” to break up a fight between boys. On a couple of occasions another teacher and I have had to literally peel a two of girls apart.
Today was no difference.
As I was walking back to my classroom right after school (holding it in for 2 hours makes for a quick dash to the bathroom right as the bell rings), a certain aforementioned Math teacher that seems to not have the inclination to take care of it herself, called me over to inform me that she had heard there might be a fight headed that (she pointed) way.*
So I headed off in that direction and as soon as I got outside I saw a big crowd of students. Teachers, we all know that a big crow of students means that SOMETHING is going on. So I headed off in that direction. Kind of like a similarly charged magnet, the crowd was repelled by me and started moving away from the school as I came closer. I ‘chased’ them to the edge of the property simply by walking towards them. While I was standing there, trying to decide if a) a fight was going to break out and b) if I could do anything about it since they were off school property, our cop appeared next to me out of nowhere.
We stood there, watching, talking about the situation for a couple of minutes. No fight had broken out yet, but you could tell something was up. He took off to get his cop car as I started to walk to the edge of the property, just to make sure nothing happened there. As I moved closer, the crowd mover further into the neighborhood. Finally the cop showed up in his car, drove right into the center of the crowd and just stopped there. The crowd dispersed.
After 17 years, it still amazes me how simply being there can prevent a fight. I said nothing to any of them, I did nothing to separate them. All I did was walk towards them.
Just for the record – size does not matter. Neither does gender. That’s no excuse. I have known small female teachers that command an incredible amount of respect from their students,l and are as capable of breaking up a student fight as 6’1” (more lbs than I want to admit) me.