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Lockdown
Old 02-26-2018, 06:07 PM
 
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So we had a lock down today at the middle school where I was subbing. Apparently some guy at the park next to the school was acting erratically, and cops eventually found/arrested him (of course I didn't know any of this until the end of the school day). Kids were in a panic, I had no info about what was going on because subs don't have school email. One of my students was secretly texting his dad for the first 15 minutes of the lockdown until I caught him with his phone. It was hard to console kids I barely know that were having anxiety over the lockdown... Ironically the teacher had left the kids a Newsela article to read about arming teachers. Just glad today is over ...


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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2013
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MaineSub
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,260
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:08 AM
 
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I posted elsewhere that we had a bomb threat and evacuation Monday... elementary/middle school. It was not a pretty afternoon, several panic attacks and lots of crying. If I might make some suggestions:

Instinctively everyone wants to know what's going on... practically, that's not possible. I would focus on what the situation requires, encourage some trust in the system. "We don't know, but..." sounds less comforting than it might be. "The best way for us to be safe is...(whatever the school's policy/procedure is)." I think subs have to learn how to operate with less information. I'll bet admin/teachers didn't know much more than you did, at least for a while. We want situations to be resolved quickly, but that's not always possible.

Human connection becomes important, even if we barely know the others. Kids read non-verbals readily and will know whether or not you are feeling confident or in control. (Much like any day subbing!) It might be a little different with elementary (I was in grades 1-3 area), but I kept saying "We're okay. We're safe." and gave some hugs (fire me for violating school policy) and held some hands. One second grader attached herself to me, demanding I hold her hand and kept asking if she was shaking too much. Apparently, she felt safe with me. I did wean her off, partly by distracting her from her own fears. The only problem with that was she kept saying to her classmates "Hold Mr. B's hand--you will feel better!" I only have two! But she had stopped thinking about her own fear and started thinking about others.

Less I make this sound too easy, for some reason yesterday was one of the most difficult days I've had at school--to the point when I finally was able to think about myself, I caught myself thinking "I can't do this anymore." It's draining and exhausting but the good news is we can get refills.
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