Find out how these teachers handled unexpected situations — ranging from fights in the classroom to angry parents — that weren’t covered in their teacher education programs.

High school French teacher Andrea Ferrari still remembers peering down the hallway outside her classroom at Philip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte, N.C., looking for someone to watch her classroom so she could take a bathroom break.

It was then that she heard the commotion behind her: One of her students had pounced on a much smaller classmate and was pummeling him in the face.

Ferrari did the first thing that came to her mind to gain control of the situation.

“I screamed,” she said. “I’m sure a curse word or two came out.”

Her reaction caused the aggressor to stop and leave the room. She sent a student for help and proceeded to use paper towels to mop up the blood on the wounded student’s face.

Looking back on the incident, Ferrari thinks she didn’t really do anything wrong, except perhaps use some inappropriate language. But it did clearly illustrate to this rookie teacher, now finishing her second year, that teacher education programs can’t prepare educators for everything that they might encounter on the job.

“No one ever told me what to do to prepare for a fight in my room,” Ferrari said, adding that they also didn’t mention that she was “never going to get to go to the bathroom.”

Regardless of where they earn their degree — and even if they have had solid student teaching experiences before they claim their credential — new teachers are bound to face unexpected, upsetting, occasionally funny, and sometimes awkward situations that will force them to think

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