Sorry for my late posting, it seems that every time I sit down to write something comes up and distracts me .
Last week was our second to last practicum day of the semester, and it feels weird to know that after this week I will not see my students for over a month! I really like all of the students in my class and am slowly becoming attached to them as I get to know them better.
We are continuing with our Peace Circles and this week were discussing anger using the image of a mountain. I found for my self that that image really helps though often anger can be often volcanic especially from my students who are still working on self regulating their emotions. I recognize that for many children and even adults that anger is one of the most difficult emotions to regulate and it often has many causes. The metaphor of a mountain or volcano for anger is beautiful in it’s simplicity and clarity.
Anger Mountain is read from left to right, at the base of the mountain on the left hand side is the trigger, an event situation, word or action that causes some one to start to get angry. My students identified many possible triggers including, a sibling being ” annoying” in their words and who doesn’t get annoyed with their siblings at times, a fight with a parent, being left out, not doing well on an assignment or test, getting in trouble, some one being mean or rude to them. I was surprised at the insight my students showed into possible triggers and am really hoping that this will make them more aware of not only what can be a trigger for them as well as what would trigger other students, how many confrontations and unpleasant situations could be avoided if we were all more aware of each other’s triggers? The upward slope of anger mountain represents events, thoughts and feelings that escalate the situation as the anger builds, we’ve all experienced times when a small trigger grows and grows because of a collection of triggers that has built up over time. The resevoir represents the internal events , thoughts , feelings and experiences that may contribute to the anger and may be expressed in the eventual out burst of anger. The lava tube represents angry words and actions working their way to the surface leading to the eventual explosion. Like a volcano anger can be explosive, when extremely angry people may let their emotions go with a staggering amount of force, words and actions spill out and effect all those around them. On the other side of anger mountain in the cool down phase where anger subsides and rational thinking returns, the heart rate returns to normal and the body relaxes. This leads to the Let Down Dip where students may be ready to discuss what happened and often begin to regret their angry actions, this is a good time to make the situation right and plan what they will do next time they are upset or angry.
As I’m thinking about what happened in our Peace Circle this week I’m wondering what others would do in a situation that occurred this week. While I will not go into detail about what was shared I had a student share a very personal situation with the class while , I am thankful that he is comfortable sharing with the class I am concerned that other students may not respect the class agreement that was is said in the circle stays in the circle and the other students my turn the students personal situation into a topic of gossip. How would other teachers discuss and reinforce not sharing things to those outside of the circle. I also wonder how to bring up that some times there are things that we feel comfortable sharing and that our teachers and the adults care and want to know but may not be appropriate for every member of the class to hear.
I also taught a lesson on Thursday and I am very happy with how it turned out. I have been working with my students over the last couple weeks on the topic of the fur trade. This week we built a model of an HBC Fur Trade Fort, the students were very engaged in the process and we were able to have some wonderful conversations about the buildings they are creating and what they were used for and who could have lived and worked in them.