Playground problems – help students be in control of a situation and plan their own solutions.
An agitated student approaches you in the playground with a problem, what can you can?
Go for a walk with them. Walking generally calms students down and will help diffuse their anger, frustration and annoyance – getting them out of reptilian brain mode, (fight and flight) and returning them to mammalian brain mode, (able to talk calmly and with reason). As you ‘walk and talk’ ask questions and discuss options for ‘where to next?’ Get the student/s to decide on a plan of action.
- The student calms down.
- The student gains control of their thinking and emotions.
- In many cases students are happy to return to the playground and get on with the game or activity.
- There is never any point in trying to talk face to face with a student when they are in ‘fight and flight’ mode. They do not hear you and have no intention of listening.
- You can always tell when they are ’back with you’ as you walk with them – that’s the time to start the conversation.
- Act in an advisory role.
- Allow the student to decide ‘Where to Next’ – the plan of action.
- Keep calm.