So I have begun my final semester of student teaching and I am now in a high school. An incident happened today and I wanted to hear some feedback. I am working in a school in Queens in a very rough area. While many of the students are well behaved there are a few bad apples. The school does have a police presence however, it is far too large for the police to be everywhere. Stairwells and hallways are excellent spots for students to hide in between classes. In fact, as I was leaving through the stairwell this afternoon, I could smell pot in the stairwell.
Anyways, I arrived at school a little early and headed directly to my classroom. As I was going up the stairwell, I passed many students who should not have been there. In discussing with other teachers, the best thing to do is to move and mind myself. Most students will run off at the site of an adult. This was a very typical walk up the stairs. Some students said hello and for the most part I was not bothered. When I arrived at my classroom, I waited outside for the class in the room to finish. I took out my notes and began to read over the day's plan. Just then, a group of about 5 males came out of the stairwell and started asking me questions very loudly in the hallway. The students were not being aggressive at all, however they were being very disruptive. I told them in a very calm and pleasant way that I couldn't really talk with them and told them to go back to the stairs if they were going to talk because they were disrupting everyone else that was in class. They said alright, no problem, and moved to the stairwell. Just then another of their friends came out of the stairwell and halted their move out of the hall. Again they began to talk very loudly. At this point, I walked over and calmly reminded them to get out of the hall. The students at this point did not want to move, but they promised to keep quiet. Since the bell was going to ring within the minute, I figured that it was not worth a fight. They did keep their end of the bargain and even moved down the hall a little. As I began to read over my notes again, I overheard them saying horrible things about me, including some violent things. However, they were not being loud enough to bother the classes. I just ignored the issue figuring that any confrontation could put me at risk at this point (6 males talking very aggressively and myself in the hallway). The bell rang shortly after and we went our separate ways.
At this point, I am going to try and avoid being so early again, or at least going directly into the classroom when I do arrive early. However, I am curious how some of you would handle this. I would have love to have gotten their names and done something, however, as I said before, in the situation I was beginning to become concerned with safety. Also, they are not my students, and I have never seen them before, so it is likely that this will be the end of it with them. If I were to run into them again, I would probably go into the classroom and proceed to call the school police to come round them up in the hall or stairs. However, how would you suggest I handle this if it happens with another group? Any help here would be appreciated.