After more than three decades of working with kids from kindergarten to high school age, I have witnessed many a behavioral outburst. Occasionally, these incidents have been explosive, with a student striking out vocally and/or physically at his teacher or one of his peers in some attempt to openly rebel and assert his individual power. These types of outbursts can potentially cause more harm to the well-being of others than to the angry child himself.
A second type of meltdown is implosive in nature. The most vulnerable in these situations is the child himself. Feelings of depression, rejection, humiliation and hopelessness can lead a child to retreat into his own mind and melt from within.
Sometimes you face kids who are imploding and exploding at the same time.
I was just about to get in my car and head to my weekly administrator's meeting, when my cell phone started ringing. I balanced my pile of data in one arm and clicked the phone's green "accept" button with my free hand. "Yes?" I hollered.
"Mr. Ramsey," our school secretary, Valerie, began, "Mrs. Larrabee needs you by the eighth grade boys' restroom. She says Louie is pounding his head on the sidewalk and screaming."...