Today one of our teachers was hit hard with a chair by an acting-out student. The kid "rammed" the legs of the metal chair into the teacher's chest.
Word of the attack spread quickly. Eyes widened, concern for our colleague grew. She's okay, we are quickly told. No lasting marks.
Then comes quiet acceptance.
It could just as easily have been any of us.
The reality of the dangers involved with working with emotionally unstable students hovers over us, ignored, unrecognized, dismissed... until something like this happens. Then we are pulled into a swirling frenzy of emotion: worry, resentment, then angry resignation.
What toll does this silent, pulsating sense of dread have on us? How does it affect our professional lives? What impact does this heightened stress have on our personal relationships? No doubt, our bodies feel the burden.
However noble this profession is, how many years am I shaving off my life because of my choice?
And at what point do we let ourselves talk about these important questions?
Finally, why does wondering out loud feel so much like betrayal?
Needless to say, I wrote the above post soon after the incident, and my feelings were raw. Yes, it might seem overly dramatic to some, (see comment 1) but Ms. Smlph validated it for me.... those of us who repress worry understand what it is to HAVE to face it.
My colleague went home that afternoon, and as the evening wore on, her adrenline wained, and she got teary. She also found an ugly bruise developing over the tender spot of impact.
No charges filed... it was a clinical decision made by the teacher and the social worker and psyc. Hospitalization is in the works instead. Truly a more effective response for this kid at this time.