What a way to start the day.. Second period and already students have started fighting. Apparently, there had been chatter before school even started. The scuffle began between periods one and two, with another math teacher taking some students over to the office. The talk continued in class for a bit, but we finally got stuck into work.
After a short period, one of the students decided to berate a student who usually gets a hard time. His instigation of this torture encouraged others to join in. A book was thrown, the kid was punched in the shoulder, I threw that kid out of the class and a different teacher took him away. While I was outside asking for him to be taken (I was out for less than 30 seconds), an all-out war began in the class.
Two main groups in the class were arguing and just as I walk into the room, a student flips his desk and almost takes out one of the others. That was enough. He was out of there.
It wasn't over yet, of course. This was a battle of six against four, so there was no time to relax. Words were exchanged, I found a list of black-listed names, and fight plans had begun.
After class, I spent the entire break period and next period (luckily it was motivated year 13s) writing notes and emails.
Update ~ 1.9.2018
So, while one of the students has now been removed, I have heard nothing about the others except that one was overlooked because of the stand-down of the other.
The two groups of students are still in the class. They have gone through this violence (which others have downgraded to 'bullying', which I despise) against each other, and have received no real consequences. They have learned nothing. They continue to threaten, berate, abuse, and harass other students and this incidence has confirmed for them that they are invincible.
We hear in the news all the time that teachers or schools are not doing enough. I can see why. I am trying my best to pass on information to people who are meant to be here to provide a safe working and learning environment, but nothing happens. Whether things get ignored, forgotten, or if they really have no power, I don't know.
Some of these students have no empathy for other people. Am I really meant to be teaching these students when they can barely survive in a one-hour period?
Looking back, I don't think there was anything I could have done differently. It was a class destined to fail before the kids arrived to school that day.
During parent-teacher interviews a week before, a parent asked me if the classroom I teach in made me regret my decision to become a teacher and want to quit. I knew the answer at the time but refused to answer with her child present. Well, if you've read this post, perhaps you can determine my answer.