It's time to take your spelling test. Go ahead and log on to Spelling City.
NOOOOO! No, I won't take the stupid spelling test!
#2 Student Becomes Violent
School is stupid! You are stupid! Everyone is stupid!
Timmy, it's time to take our spelling test. Please get into your chair. Remember, you can play math games when your are finished.
I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm looking forward to you being part of our great day today.
#3 Teacher Clears Room & Begins De-escalation
The only way today would be great is if the school blows up so we can all go home!
Now that the room is cleared and safe, the teacher will begin de-escalating techniques.
NOOOOO! NOOOOO! I hate you! NOOOOO!
The teacher has asked the class to take a routine and expected spelling test. Timmy, who has Oppositional Defiance Disorder, falls to the floor and begins to start pushing the table over in anger.
#4 Teacher Relaxes & Projects Calmness
Quietly to herself, the teacher counts to five and takes two deep cleansing breaths.
NOOOO! NOOOOO! NOOOOO!
The teacher has calmly asked Timmy to return to his seat and take his test. Timmy refuses, begins high-pitched screaming, and knocks over his desk. The teacher tries to approach calmly, and he kicks the table at her, using it as a weapon.
#5 Teacher Validates Student's Emotions
Timmy, you seem really angry. Can you tell me why you are upset?
I'm angry because I don't want to take the SPELLING TEST!
The room has become too distracting and unsafe for the other students. The teacher has an aide clear the room, and she begins de-escalating techniques to get Timmy calmed down enough to remove him from class for a cool down period.
#6 Teacher Uses Active Listening & Redirection
I'm hearing that you don't want to take the spelling test. How about you go water the school garden with the class aide, and we'll talk about the spelling test after lunch?
Before approaching the student, the teacher counts to five and takes two deep cleansing breaths. She does this so that she can counteract adrenaline in her body, and so she can portray calmness to the student. She also approaches slowly with non-aggressive body language (no finger pointing and no hands on her hips).
The teacher validates Timmy's emotions by helping him to label his anger instead of just expressing it physically.
Students will respond to teachers who genuinely tries to understand the student. Active listening has the teacher repeating back a summary of a student's concerns to make sure the teacher completely understands them. Redirection takes student attention off of the problem at hand. Notice the teacher did not say the student did not have to take the test.