M4U6A1 De-escalation Strategy: Listening

M4U6A1 De-escalation Strategy: Listening
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  • Hey Ben! Is everything okay?
  • I know it might be hard to talk about, but I'm here for you, Ben. Do "this" if you're ready to share what's on your mind. 
  • It's just about class time. Second-grade music teacher Mr. Ericsson walks into the room and notices that his student Ben looks upset. Unlike usual, he is not talking to his buddies, Derek and Jack, before class. 
  • Riiiiip!
  • Hahaha!
  • Mr. Ericsson walks over to Ben and asks if everything is okay. Ben shrugs. The teacher asks if something happened with his friends. Ben says no, but his tone isn't convincing. 
  • I'm sorry, you must be feeling very hurt right now. Can you tell me what happened?
  • They started it! They ruin everything. I'm not a baby! I hate them!
  • The bell rings. Mr. Ericsson lets Ben know that if he wants to talk about anything privately, he can give a secret hand signal. Ben nods.
  • A while later...
  • Ten minutes later, Mr. Ericsson hears snickering coming from Derek and Jack. Ben bolts upright and starts ripping a paper up, glaring tearily at Derek and Jack with his fists clenched and breathing rapidly, but not otherwise moving.
  • Mr. Ericsson calmly approaches Ben and asks the students nearby to sit at the math center and continue the assignment. He moves so that he can see all three boys, but Ben can only see him. Ben starts to accuse Derek and Jack. Mr. Ericsson listens thoughtfully as Ben describes what happened. 
  • Derek and Jack have been teasing me all day. Just because of a stupid note. 
  • Ben is upset because his friends found a note from his mom in his bag and have been teasing him all day. Mr. Ericsson notices that Derek and Jack look guilty at this. He continues listening, responding with gentle questions and empathetic statements. Thanks to his teacher's listening ear, Ben gradually calms himself down. 
  • That was a really difficult thing to go through today. Thank you for being brave and telling me about it. Later today, could you help me brainstorm some ideas that would help you share problems with me?
  • Okay.
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