Today I took a sick/stress day off of work – I don’t like to leave my class in the care and responsibility of others however today I felt I had no choice.
Yesterday I was verbally attacked by an older student in my school, he followed me into my classroom and refused to leave until I gave him back a ball which was not his. He started to call me all the names under the sun, none of which I will repeat here. I continued to ask him to leave my class and he got louder and his language became even more colourful. This scenario went on for about 2 minutes whilst he stood his ground and threw his broad vocabulary around my classroom. Finally realising he needed to remove himself from my classroom he did so making personal vocal attacks on me in front of my very scared smaller students.
I promptly informed the powers that be of what had prevailed and I was relieved from my post in order to regain my composure and take a minute to refocus. I was shaken but I was okay (or so I thought) and the students and I got on with our afternoon.
As the afternoon transpired and I went about my normal routines a bevy of emotions worked their way into my thinking space. I felt anger, resentment, empathy, horror, humiliation, sadness, shock, the list could go on.
I cried whilst having my shower. I shook whilst trying to read to my daughter, I struggled to form complete sentences, my heart felt like it would break through my chest, I did not sleep, I was not okay and these vile words had impacted my mental wellbeing dramatically.
The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is erroneous and whilst we are often told to ‘brush it off’ WORDS ARE WEAPONS.
No matter what job or profession we undertake, no one goes to work to be verbally attacked by anyone and it is simply not okay on any level.