Within my job as a teacher I can remember a few moments in which I took things personal, but they happened during my first year. Now, I am on my third year as a teacher and it's hard for me to get angry with students, because I prefer to address the issue through communication and agreements.
Today, I got angry with a student and I didn't even realize it until another student that was next to me said "teacher, don't get angry".
The scenario went as it follows:
Students were presenting oral reports. Before they start, I take the time to tell the class that they have to be quiet while their classmates are performing, because I have to assess them and if there's too much noise, I can't hear very well.
It was hard to me to keep them completely quiet today - teachers know that not all lessons with the same class work the same due to different factors -. So, I had to constantly stop and say "guys, be quiet. Your classmates are performing". That happened during almost all the presentations.
Sometimes, that class asks me to go 5 minutes earlier in order to buy their lunch and avoid the crowd at lunchtime. So, by the end of the class they asked me the same. I let some girls go out and have lunch 5 minutes before the ring sounded, because they helped me a lot the whole lesson. But, when the guys asked me the same, I said "No, you have to wait until the ring sounds, because you were interrupting your classmates, so you don't deserve that award. If you would have behaved well, I would let you go 5 minutes earlier, but not this time".
A student said "but you are talking about something completely different, you are mixing things up. We want to have lunch". I replied, "yes, I know, but you will have to wait 5 minutes until the ring sounds".
He started saying things that I took personal. I reacted feeling "evil". It's like he would have thought I was saying "You won't eat today, because you are bad kids and you do not deserve to eat". The student wouldn't stop making comparisons about his dad role at work, like comparing what I was doing with his dad's job".
I wanted to make him understand that it was not that I didn't want them to have lunch, it was just that they were not going out 5 minutes earlier as usual, because they were interrupting and I was not going to award that behavior/attitude.
He was like five meters away from me, so I was kind of yelling while a bunch of students wanted to "run away" and go buy lunch while I was still assessing the last student that had performed. So I told him "come here! What are you saying? I can't hear you well!" and that's when a girl said "teacher, don't get angry". I realized I was completely participating in a reaction within this minds' battle.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to take things personal when someone does not like/accept what I say, because when this student started saying something about his dad's job and comparing me with him I felt evil/inferior.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to feel inferior, because I thought, "I am not doing things well, probably he is right".
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to desire that student to be quiet and just accept what I was saying, because in that moment things were going out of my hands.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to let my ego character react with its inferiority/superiority polarity game/battle when I felt inferior and I started to reply everything he was saying without realizing I was completely possessed by my reaction and only creating friction while trying to compensate that inferiority with yelling.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to not see/realize and understand that if I was involved within that situation, there were some aspects in which I was not self-honest, because I didn't consider that there were some students talking in groups and I could have asked them split the groups and sit in different places, so as to avoid their interruptions while the other students were performing.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to feed that experience with thoughts after the class finished, because I kept thinking "I have to make this kid understand that he got me wrong and that he made a mistake when starting comparing me with his dad".
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to react with anger when being compared/judged every time I am sure I am not doing something "bad" but I blame them for making me feel inferior.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to blame others when they say something with which I feel inferior, without seeing/understanding and realizing that I am reacting with anger, it's not them creating the anger within my myself, because if I allow myself to react, people are just pressing the buttons that I have allowed and accepted to exist within and as myself. Therefore, it's my responsibility to unplug myself from those buttons, because if they wouldn't exist, there would be no buttons to press and no anger reaction.
When and as I see myself reacting with anger when I think/believe/perceive that someone is attacking me/getting me wrong, I stop and breathe. I realize that my participation in those reactions inhibits me from investigating in self-honesty the points in which I was not being self-honest and how I ended up in those situations, immediately reacting to how my mind has been pre-programmed to react when feeling inferior; trying to compensate that inferiority with anger and words that only create friction instead of communication out of the mind system.
I commit myself to stop and breathe when someone gets me wrong/does not understand my point, because if I do not stop and breathe and bring myself back to my human physical body, I would not release all the energy, therefore I will be creating a mind battle, instead of investigating first how I ended up experiencing such situation as a consequence of previous actions lacking of self-honesty.
I commit myself to see with my physical eyes how is everything going within my lessons, because I realize that there are some events that I allow to exist because I do not act immediately in order to change. Therefore, what I get are situations as the one that happened today, in which things were out of control.
I forgive myself that I have allowed and accepted myself to not see with my physical eyes what is really going on within my lessons and how I can manage myself better so as to be here as my students are as well and act according to what I see and not what my mind "feels".