The teacher said that the kid was being disruptive, defiant, and over the line disrespectful. Kicking him out was for the benefit of the rest of the class. It was the only option (or so he thought) left for him to take. The weird thing is that once the kid left, he felt bad. He thought that kicking the kid out would feel good. The teacher confessed that he thought about doing it several times before and imagined how satisfying it would be. It wasn't.
I think back to the first time I had to kick a kid out. I felt like I had given up. I felt like I had lost. I felt like I was telling that student that the world would be better off without them. In that moment, all of those things were true. After the first time, all the subsequent times became much easier. It a move in my teacher toolbox that I hesitated to use despite the urging of some of my more experienced peers, but it became second nature after the first time. That didn't help my kids and it didn't help me. In fact, that kid always became a problem for the rest of the school by walking the halls and bothering everyone else.
It took me a while to reset and start talking to my difficult students again. Yes, there are some that are so far gone that you have to take more drastic measures to get them engaged and productive, and sometimes those students have to go. The important thing is remembering that every day is a new day and every kid deserves a chance to start fresh.
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