There are many issues in this case study that need addressed. First of all, I would address the situation occurred between the student and the special area teacher. Next, I would address the parent complaint after an investigation of the event. Lastly, I would discuss and refresh all staff on policies and procedures in place at the school to prevent future incidents. At the time the situation occurred, I would send the regular classroom teacher back to their classroom explaining that they should come back up to the office once they had a free period or at the end of the day.
I would also send the special area teacher back to their classroom for the time being. I would take this opportunity to discuss the events of the altercation with the student. I would listen to the student’s side of the story. After hearing the student’s side, I would explain to the student that leaving the building during school hours is against school policy. I would explain that they proper way to handle that situation would have been to ask to go to the office to discuss the issue or cool down. There they could release steam from the situation and avoid the altercation with the teacher.
I would then inform them that the situation will be investigated and disciplinary action is pending since they left the school building and talked to the teacher in an inappropriate manner. I would address the regular classroom teacher next listening to the events in their point of view. I would let them know that in the future, they should get classroom coverage and walk the student to the office; then they should return to their classroom. I would want specific details about the conversation they may have had with the student and thanked them for bringing them to the office to calm them down and resolve the situation.
I would close by reaffirming the policy of always having a teacher in the classroom in order to prevent problems and keep the students safe. Lastly, I would have the special area classroom teacher come discuss their story with me. I would ask them what happened. Hopefully, being open and actively listening would make them feel supported in the situation. I would then ask them if they believe they handled the situation in the best way possible. I would hope this would give the teacher a chance to reflect on their actions. I would then ask how they could have improved their actions in the situation.
My hopes would be to encourage a long-term lesson learned from the situation. I would discuss the policies of leaving a classroom unattended with that teacher. I would do this to stress the safety of all students. I would then let the teacher know they should avoid verbal altercations with students in front of their class. If there is a situation that can be handled between the two, they should step outside the classroom and have the discussion. The teacher will receive a written reprimand where a professional development session of non-verbal de-escalation skills would be the required outcome.
Next, I would investigate the bullying situation in the classroom. I would conference with the bullied student and hear their story. I would reaffirm their testimony from kids in the classroom at the time. I would attempt to determine the truth of the situation and distribute punishments accordingly. I would then call the parent and explain the investigation and the results of the investigation. I will vaguely tell them that the situation was handled for both the student who bullied and the teacher involved. I would explain that all bullying instances are taken seriously and eliminated immediately as they are discovered.
Finally, I would discuss the policies and procedures at the next bi-weekly staff meeting. The policies that will be discussed are procedures involving student altercations and when students leave the building. If an altercation occurs that cannot be solved through a short conversation outside the door, the teacher should send the student to the office to cool down or discuss the situation with the principal. If a student leaves the classroom and goes outside, the teacher should call down to the office to let the principal or the officer know so they can intercept the student.
Next, the teacher should use free time or get a substitute to cover the class and they can discuss the events with the principal at that time. It will be emphasized in the meeting that ever leaving a classroom unattended is a safety issue and they must get coverage if they need to leave. Lastly, I would inform the students that a bullying professional development will be scheduled for the next in-service day so that all staff can properly address those situations. According to Odden, PD is something that needs to continue, as students, standards, knowledge, and best practices change”(p. 97).