Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SoL Challenge Day #29

The first time a student had a panic attack in my classroom, I was a student teacher.

It was the second day of class, and I noticed her as my mentor teacher was handing out papers.

She had bustled in a few moments after the bell rang, quickly dropped her stuff and tears immediately sprang from her eyes. I walked over to her and asked her if she wanted to go to the hallway. She readily agreed and followed me out.

Once in the hallway, we just sat there. After a few minutes of breathing, she explained that she'd fallen on the arm that she would soon have surgery on. Panic ensued, but eventually subsided.

It happened to me for the second time yesterday.

She was the last speaker of the day, and the class waited patiently for her to come in from practicing in the hallway.

One minute passed.

Two minutes.


To the hallway I went.

I propped open the door to a study room outside of my classroom, and she was heaving with sobs.

Oh man.

Cue camp counselor mode.

"Can you sit on the ground with me?"

She nodded.

"Okay. I want you to breathe in when I do. I'll count for you. One...two....three. Let it out."

Several jagged breaths escape.

I smiled. "One more time."

Her breathing evened.

In the few minutes before the bell we discussed her speech, her nerves, and I told her all of my favorite dad jokes I'd heard on Jimmy Fallon the night before. She left, seemingly calm, with her best friend on her arm.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Everything will be fine.


  1. Perfect. You are good at this,

  2. Breathe in, breathe out. Good advice in lots of situations.

  3. I had a first grader have a panic attack today because I didn't call on him! Feeling his pain, I said, "OK, go ahead tell us what it is you ant to share and he immediately went into deeper sobs! He finally managed to say, " Now I don't remember what I wanted to say" He needed almost 10 minutes to calm down. I will pack your strategy in my tool box for future use!

  4. How lucky these students are that you can identify and handle the situation. I feel like I'm noticing more and more students with these panic episodes -- even my college students! My heart just aches for them!