Anger and resentment are alternative beats of the same heart and in the long run it may lead to serious diseases like cancer. According to the latest medical research, correlation between anger and illness exists and an angry individual has greater risks of strokes.
Controlling school violence is a delicate task for the teacher as it has to be done without sacrificing civil rights of students. When there is a serious misunderstanding between the two students, even though I know who is guilty, I do not force him to say “I’m sorry”. That can lead to a power struggle. I say, “Haven’t you hurt your friend? In that case I expect you to take care of the hurt. I have witnessed your deep friendship before.” I keep my voice calm but firm. I do not give long lectures to my students on the subject of anger. For better understanding of the ground realities, I study and analyze data on office referrals and suspensions. I often tell my students about one of the students suspended in the past, “He was one of the brilliant amongst the brilliants; his anger was his undoing.” Thus, I indirectly caution the students that any major indiscipline will not be accepted by the school administration. I make them understand about the alternative methods of resolving their differences and at the same time, give them clear message that bullying is unacceptable anywhere within the premises and school grounds. To control the incidents of ragging is the prime duty of the teacher and this can be achieved through effective classroom management and able handling of the minor disruptions, to prevent them from taking a worst turn. Suspension and expulsion are the final options. It is advisable not to use them and try other methods like teen courts, parent contact, anger management and in-school suspensions. An environment needs to be created in the entire institution that the behavior of each and every student is being meticulously watched and reported to the controlling authorities and the parents.
1. My understanding of anger’s effects on the brain: Chronic anger alters brain functions at the cellular level and brain’s command center for stress responses can be compromised. Increase in the stress hormones results in memory impairment and learning problems.
2. When two students are angry, I do not press for immediate solution. I would request one of them to take a time-out, and continue with the lecture. On conclusion of the lecture I would tell the other student, “Hurting your own friend, is like hurting me; think, and tell me, whether you should say “sorry” to your friend. The school administration would not tolerate indiscipline. I am proud of my students, and I count on your support to maintain harmony in the class.”
3. Persistent behavior problems need persistent efforts. There is a melting point even for the hardcore trouble shooter in the class. I’ll give such a student important responsibility. Once I told the habitual late comer to the class, “For one week from tomorrow, you’ll take the roll call for attendance of the students.” That had the desired effect. He did the job with a sense of responsibility and marked changes were seen in his behavior.
4. To develop a lesson plan to check violence in schools is a cooperative effort of all concerned. Allan M. Hoffman writes, ” Furthermore, the school district will be required to establish professional development programs for all school personnel on effective strategies for dealing with youth violence….a plan to increase parental and community involvement programs.”(7) Here is the lesson plan and some of the best practices for anger management and effective discipline to prevent violence.
a) Provide the students with emotional safety.
b) Create a panel discussion format to showcase teacher experiences, modeling examples and anecdotal evidence, for managing anger.
c) Highlight the discipline strategies of the school management.
d) To create sessions of corroborative discussions and incorporate the decisions in the embedded activities.
e) Peer Review: To provide opportunities to the participants with suggestions for improvement and innovative ideas from their peers.
f) To discuss and create awareness about conflict resolution strategies.
Hoffman, Allan M. Schools, Violence, and Society. Praeger, 1996