I know it's been a bad day when within an hour of physically restraining a pupil from punching and kicking another pupil (something I haven't had to do for years), I'm sitting on the floor first aiding a third pupil and doing pain tests on them. It was slightly reassuring that when the ambulance crew turned up the first thing they did was the same pain test. I also have no qualms about touching a scared, panicky child to reassure them as a first aider. I don't see why I should have to become inhuman and insensitive when I'm in the role of a teacher.
It's strange. I was more confident in restraining pupils because at Donaldsons ALL staff were given some training. The headteacher told us that we had the right to restrain a child if they were damaging themselves, someone else or property. Now to be honest I don't give a damn about property, it can be replaced.
The subject has never been discussed since, not at teacher training college or in any school I've worked in. I think many teachers are not confident in those situations that they are doing the right thing, and pupils' arrogance at times when they say "you not allowed to touch me at all" also contributes to worries.
Today I loudly and confidently said "I am allowed to restrain you because you are harming another pupil", determined that the pupil wouldn't even think to question be or do the "you're no allowed to touch me" routine. Instead the kid just looked at me like I'm nuts, but to be honest it was as much for the benefit of everyone else around as him.
I fancy a nap and then some chinese food, but that seems really indulgent for a Monday.