School can be a pressure cooker of anger

Because of the huge numbers involved in many schools, the pressure cooker atmosphere from nine o’clock to four, and the dynamic of so many relationships, school is a place where anger can suddenly blow up and create very difficult situations. When I look back on my life as a school Principal, I realise that some of the many issues that came to my door involved feelings of intense anger. Teachers would arrive frustrated at the behaviour of some students, who disrupted their classes, abused them, or refused to do their homework. Students would erupt because they may have felt they were being treated unfairly. Additionally, some teachers and some students brought an ancient anger with them, and when a particular trigger was pulled or a particular button pressed the anger emerged. My job was to try to defuse the anger both of the teacher and the respective students. I now realise that I also had to deal with my own anger as well. There were certain things that angered me and fuelled the childhood anger that I carried. My anger was over-provoked by the very idea that a student would disrupt a class, or had drawn graffiti on a wall, or misbehaved in the town at lunchtime. When I explored it later during my counselling sessions I realised that behind my anger lay fear; fear that I was losing control or that students did not respect me or were not afraid of me. Perhaps my greatest fear was that the school would get a bad name and reflect poorly on me. I personalised all this through my own shame and subconsciously focussed on my own shortcomings. When I look back at my time as a teacher, I can see that I did not always control my anger and I regret it. It was based on the treadmill of fear, a fertile ground for chronic anxiety. So, as teachers or Principals we focus on the behaviour, because that is our job, as counsellors, however, we look for the hurt, and in that we may discover our own wounds.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
COUNSELLING TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
FEAR
ANGER
JEALOUSY
CHILDHOOD DISTRESS

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