Let’s face it, whether you teach kindergartners or high school students, disagreements will ensue. It may be ignorance, an inability to deal with conflict, or a simple result of raging hormones, but kids are going to get into it in your classroom or hallways. The ultimate goal is to de-escalate these situations to ensure the safety of your students and yourself. If you are able to catch a situation quick enough you can prevent a fight. The first thing you need to remember is not to tell the students to calm down. That is the first mistake. Telling someone who is upset to calm down is like telling a tidal wave to stop its trajectory. It’s just not going to happen. Your best bet is to distract the students and try and get their minds on something other than their disagreement. Pull out a shiny object and hold it up in front of them. Tell a joke. Get light. Whatever you need to do, try it. Just realize, there is a point where there is nothing you can do to prevent a fight. At that point you need to make a decision. Do I break up the fight myself or call the dean’s office? My recommendation is never break up a fight on your own. If you get hurt, you are liable and any time you miss comes out of your money. So, try to prevent the fight, but if you can’t, get your popcorn ready.